Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Mexico coming up in the world, APS not so much

I remember when New Mexico was the 49th most corrupt state in the union; now were up to 39th, link.

The NM FOG's new Executive Director Gwyneth Doland gives us the story behind the story, link.

So why is our government so corrupt?

Even though public corruption and incompetence are rife in state and local governments, clear down to school boards, there seems to be little we can do about it except wring our hands when more of it is exposed.

Most of the exposure and accountability comes from investigative reporters. It says something about governmental oversight, that it seems to uncover very little on its own.

The level of public corruption and incompetence, the width and depth of cultures of corruption correlate directly to at most two variables; standards, and accountability.

I say "at most" two, when it really is only the one; if the least powerful cannot hold the most powerful, honestly accountable to any particular standard, it really doesn't make one whit of difference if the standard was a "higher" standard or only the law.

It is impossibly difficult for a corrupt or incompetent politician or public servant to survive if there is a place file a complaint. If there is a place where a complaint can be filed, and where that complaint will see due process, there will be an end to public corruption and incompetence.

The folks that gave New Mexicans our D- measured a lot of variables. They really had to measure only one, and there are only two scores; A or F, success or failure.

Accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence is fatal to public corruption and incompetence. 100 % accountability is 100% fatal.

Accountability is easy to quantify; it would sound stupid for someone to say they are honestly accountable to some set of standards, but couldn't actually show it to you. That's why if you ask, they don't answer; they stonewall; the only defense of an indefensible position.

Either you see it or you don't. Either you see the place where a citizen can file a complaint against a superintendent or a school board member, and where that complain will see due process, and where the superintendent or school board member will be held honestly accountable by a system over which they have no undo influence, and powerful enough to hold them accountable, even against their will,

or you don't.

photo APS Supt Winston Brooks, school board enforcer Marty Esquivel, and board head honcha Paula Maes, Mark Bralley

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