Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mayor Berry says, questions about transparency are "ridiculous".

The words did not come out of his mouth, they came out of the mouth of a man who represents that he speaks for Mayor Berry, Chris Huffman-Ramirez, Mayor Berry's spokesperson.

I am trying to find out; who in city government has been given authority to issue "press credentials", under what authority, and according to what standards?

The first person I asked was Huffman-Ramirez who refused to respond (candidly forthrightly and honestly). I asked him first because he was the first one to represent the supposed authority to "credential" bloggers, or not.

Though I did not ask him that question again, his latest response to me began

"... I have already responded to this exact question."
In fact, he did not respond; he gave me no name,
cited no authority, and pointed to no standards.

What he did do was to stonewall the question. It would
appear that, to this public servant, stonewalling counts
as "a response".

Then I went to Tito Madrid, another top level constituent "servant". My ombudsman.

He did not respond in any manner at all.

Then I emailed the questions to the Mayor, Richard Berry, and received no response from him either.

So I emailed Huffman-Ramirez and asked him how long I had to wait for a response from Berry before reasonably concluding that he was not going to respond.

To which Huffman-Ramirez responded with the above and;
"I'm not going to further entertain your ridiculous questions. If you have questions regarding city business, legislation, or services I'm happy to help. But asking the same question over and over is a waste of my time." (emphasis added)
There is no such thing as transparency if it comes at the whim of some middle level bureaucrat accountable to no one but his boss. There is no such thing as transparency when it comes at the whim of a man so clueless as to argue that,
only people who own printing presses or broadcast licenses, enjoy the protection of the press expressed in the First Amendment.

So I sent a email back to Ramirez-Huffman reading;
I didn't ask the same question. I have never asked you before; how long do I have to wait for your response before concluding you aren't?

The question before that was also a question I have never asked before; how long do I have to wait for his response before concluding he isn't.

You seem to have a problem understanding my emails, or, an unwillingness.

I assume the question to which you are referring - what is the name of the person who has been given the authority to determine who is entitled to "press credentials" and by what standards is a question you have not responded to except by stonewalling.

Citizens should not be expected to accept stonewalling as a response to a legitimate question. You have not answered the question. Point to your response, or admit to your lie.

Summon the character and the courage to tell the truth, or accept the consequences for your failure. Since, Mayor Berry will not respond, it is reasonable to hold him accountable as well.
To which he responded;
"Since you like to pretend you are a journalist,
go find some real news to cover."
Well gosh, Chris, I think a mayor that thinks
he has the authority to decide who and who isn't protected
by the First Amendment, is real news.

For the record, I have never claimed to be a journalist;
I claim to be a member of the press, and therefore fully
entitled to equal treatment under the law,

by the Mayor, and

by his subordinates.

photos Mark Bralley

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