Thursday, March 26, 2015

NM FOG's future looking up

I will begin by disclosing my upset with the NM Foundation for Open Government.  It colors both my perception of the past performance and expectations of their future performance.

In 2010 I was looking to the FOG for help in exposing APS' cover up of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.  In particular, I was looking to them for help in getting APS (the board,Supt Winston Brooks, and their lawyers) to produce public records of the findings of several investigations into the senior administrators' federal felony criminal abuse of a criminal database and, the state felony criminal misappropriation of money in evidence.

Instead, the NM FOG (Journal Editor Kent Walz and Defendant and former APS School Board heavy hitter Marty Esquivel) gave Brooks their most prestigious award for transparency.

The records are being hidden still, by APS, their lawyers and legal weaselry, in litigation that altogether has cost taxpayers nearly three quarters of a million dollars and will likely cost a quarter million more before the dust settles.
Frankly, it's history hard to ignore.

On a more positive note, both
Esquivel and Walz have moved
on from the FOG.

Esquivel, after the FOG wouldn't
back, link, his ridiculous new
public participation policy, link.

In his letter of resignation from the
FOG Board of Directors, Esquivel
offered FOG his continued support;
which will not include, I assume,
bamboozling the FOG into giving another Dixon Award to someone leading a cover up of public corruption.

For his part, Walz' life after FOG still includes Journal support for the cover up of the cover up of felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of APS Police force.

And by logical extension; the cover up of corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS in general.

FOG has some new leadership; perhaps that will help. 

The FOG has a new President,
Gregory Williams.

Most recently, he penned a piece
for the Journal on March 18, link.

Not surprisingly, his letter didn't
help pass legislation that would
make state government more
transparent.  No one's letter did.

Bills that would have provided for public comment at public meetings and for the archiving of video records of legislative meetings died, again.

My hope for the FOG is that it will become more proactive in the fight for transparency.

The movement needs a leader.  Williams and the FOG could be the leaders of a movement to end the cultures of corruption and incompetence in politics and public service by making it impossibly difficult to hide corruption and incompetence by hiding public records, closing meetings, or limiting public participation in open meetings.

The only thing missing from Williams letter was the leadership; the mention of the time, the day and place where those who support transparency could rally in numbers large enough to compel the change we need.

photos Mark Bralley

No comments: