Government transparency still dangerous, apparently

It looks like state legislators may be taking their cue from North Carolina Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos on an important issue: public access to government information.

A few weeks back, as you will recall,  Wos solemnly informed reporters that transparency can be “dangerous” in government. Today, the state Senate put Wos’ philosophy into action by passing legislation to do away with public notice requirements for several local governments.

WRAL.com has the story:

Raleigh, N.C. — Local governments in 10 counties will be able to bypass requirements that they advertise public meetings in a local newspaper under a bill the state Senate approved Tuesday.

The measure, which received tentative approval Monday night, would apply to the county governments and city governments in Burke, Graham, Guilford, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Mecklenburg, Swain, Union and Wake counties. 

“It’s an option,” said Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon. “They can do what they think best serves their people.”

Opponents of the measure assailed it as hampering citizens’ ability to know what’s going on. Under the measure, governments that opt out of newspaper advertising would have to disclose meetings on a government website. 

Read the entire story by clicking here.

8 Comments

  1. Frances Jenkins

    April 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Taxpayers are keeping rural newspaper afloat. This is not a duty of taxpayers. You are distorting the information.

  2. Doug

    April 24, 2013 at 10:26 am

    You forget the fact that, like this blog, there are a lot of alternative means available for publicizing the notices. Rather than requiring advertising in a dying media source (heck, my 67 year old father no longer subscribes to a paper) it would be easy enough to just set up a public web page on the government’s site.

    Plus, the newspapers are private….FOR PROFIT…..companies. How do you reconcile the fact that the government is in bed and allowing them to be responsible for producing public notices!? The governement needs to take over this duty! What about the poor who cannot afford a $1 paper every day! How would they get their notices? Like everything else it would be much better if the government saves us from the inefficiences of the marketplace! Good thing the governement is saving us once again!!!!

  3. Jack

    April 24, 2013 at 10:58 am

    How do you reconcile the fact that the government is in bed and allowing charter schools that will discriminate against the “poor” you feign such concern for?

  4. Doug

    April 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Jack,
    I think you are on the wrong page. This page is about transparency and taking ads away from the mainstream media.

  5. RJ

    April 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Doug: So the government needs to “get out of bed” with the FOR PROFIT “mainstream media” and take over the publishing of public notices. Huh. So if a FOR PROFIT entity you dislike gets public funds, then the government needs to take it over and do it right without the nefarious influence of the wrongheaded FOR PROFIT motive.

    Pot, meet Mr. Kettle here. He’s got a writing in cursive program he wants to sell you, and he might throw in an online home-school curriculum at a good price. Y’all have a lot to talk about.

    I’m still thinking a sophisticated spambot. Or Sarah Palin.

  6. Doug

    April 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    RJ,
    Pot…..Kettle…..Black. That is my point exactly! You get it. It is quite rich for this site to be advocating for propping up a private business. It only makes sense in the fact that it is the mainstream media profiting off the government…..and being in bed by promoting all the wishes of the liberals…and thus government.

    Again, glad you saw the scarcasm in my post even if it is in disagreeing with me. Most people here are a bit more dense, but it is good to see one get through no matter how inadverdently.

  7. Emma

    April 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Taking out an occasional ad is not equal to propping up. Many newspapers are actually money-losing ventures and are only kept going as a channel for propaganda. What you call mainstream media is corporate-owned and has never been liberal, and a critical look at the history of the right-wing media bubble is all it takes to bust it.

  8. Doug

    April 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Emma,
    You are saying the Goodmon media is not liberal? What universe are you living in?