Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Can one of the people count on NM FOG?

In the niche of open government, the NM FOG is pretty much the only game in town.  Without doubt, NM FOG and its members have struck more than a few blows in advancing the cause of open government, on occasion.

But if the question is;

can one of the people with an open government issue,
go to NM FOG and expect to be helped?
then the answer is; it depends.

It depends on a lot of things, even good and ethical things.  Not the least of which is that the heavy lifting in the FOG is done by volunteers.  Volunteers get tired, volunteers get overwhelmed.  Volunteers can't always put one of the people's issue at the top of their list.

So, no judgement offered over the length of time it has taken for the NM FOG to pick a side in the controversy over the Marty Esquivel and Modrall Public Participation in Public Meetings Policy and Procedural Directive.

Still, in the end, they haven't picked a side, and the appearance of a conflicts of interests and perhaps impropriety are created by circumstantial evidence and cannot simply be ignored.

The circumstantial evidence is that the people who came up with a manifestly unconstitutional policy and procedure, Marty Esquivel and the Modrall law firm, and the complicit media, the Journal for example, all happen to be NM FOG at least former heavy hitters.  To suppose they once swung a big bat and now can no longer swing at bat at all, is naive.

It could be that the lack of a timely response is entirely justifiable.
It could just as well be that Esquivel and Modrall are in fact benefiting from conflicts of interest and from impropriety.

Bottom line answer to the question; can one of the people
walk into NM FOG's office and count on the FOG's help?
is; the answer could be yes, at least occasionally, or it could be;
if you are the enemy of a friend, you get jack, link.

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