Friday, November 07, 2014

Is truth telling by government a principle worth fighting for?

I have long averred; the sacrifices made in defense of a principle and the intrinsic value of the principle correlate directly.  Causally, even.

In simpler terms; the greater the principle, the greater the sacrifices people will be willing to make to defend it, and coincidentally the greater the sacrifices that will be needed to be made, to defend it.

That simple math is complicated by a few variables.  The most obvious of those is; if no one knows there is a battle going on, they cannot be expected to show up.

There is an important principle under assault.

If they knew, the people who believe in that principle would step up to defend it.  They would show up.

That principle is;

the people have a right to know the truth about the spending of resources and the wielding of power belonging fundamentally to the people.
The entire truth belongs to the people.  The people have agreed, that under some select circumstances, politicians and public servants can and should "redact" records before producing them to public knowledge.

Self-redaction of public records of public service is nonsense on its face.

If an inspection of public records act were written from scratch, who in their right mind would propose allowing pols and public servants to self-redact the record of their own public service?  They would be laughed out of the meeting.

The only purpose self-redaction in public records and open meetings law is to prove to us;
the people have lost control over their power and resources.  
Our power and our resources are no longer any of our business.

If we don't like it, we can sue them.  We can sue them and their teams of lawyers with their unlimited budgets for cost is no object litigation in order to create for themselves, exceptions from the law.

For as long as unlimited public resources are available to politicians and public servants who want to hide the truth, the truth will be hard to find.

There is no legitimate agenda for governmental reform that does not move forward on the day the people have access to the ethically redacted truth about the spending of their resources and the exercise of their power.

Case in point;
  • Seven years ago, the Journal exposed felony public corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools Police force, link.
  • At least three investigations were completed, of allegations of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.
  • The findings of those investigations are being hidden from public knowledge by the APS School Board, their superintendent and their lawyers, to this day.
  • The findings of the self-investigation done by the APS Police force leadership, have not been turned over to the DA, to this day.  Statutes of limitation on felony criminal misconduct have expired
  • nobody knows about it
The leadership of the APS and the leadership of the local media; the Journal, KRQE, KOAT, KOB TV and now the DCF, do not want the people to know about the squandering of their trust and treasure.

The leadership of the APS and leadership of the media are one and the same in that they are members in a privileged class of people who look after each others interests first.

How else can it be explained that Journal Editor in Chief Kent Walz and the other "media" heavy hitters relentlessly refuse to acknowledge the ethics, standards and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS?

If only to report that there isn't one.

If the school board members and senior administrators are honestly, actually accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence, why won't Walz point to those standards and to that honest accountability and to, what a monumental achievement they are considering their record.

Honest accountability in the leadership of the APS was replaced long ago, with legal weaselry and a profound lack of oversight*.

*Self-oversight and subordinate oversight over their spending on their own legal defenses are not oversight; they are oxymora.

It's time to fight.  Pick a side. Cowboy up.
All that is necessary for evil to prevail in the world
is for good people to do nothing.  Burke derived
If you, and or someone you know, believe that as a matter of a principle worth defending;
it is wrong for the leadership of the APS to use dollars otherwise destined for classrooms, to fund cost is no object efforts to hide the ethically redacted truth about the spending of your resources and the exercise of your power
and are willing to stand up for what you believe in for two minutes, the time, the day and the place are;
5:00 Wednesday, November 19, 2014,
the public forum at the next school board meeting link.

photo Mark Bralley

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