Recent decisions have shown citizens that transparency is a myth propagated by politicians in order to placate the masses.
The news that the Supreme Court of Virginia made the decision to not provide records relating to the Virginia death penalty is the latest death knell for a law that was intended to make government more accessible, more “open.”
You don’t need to look far to see violations of the idea and the law of the Freedom of Information Act. Every week, sometimes every day, a report or other information is denied for release, often with an explanation that defies the law itself.
If the law in the Commonwealth can’t be followed regarding this, isn’t that the same as the justification for wanting the freedom of the information in the first place? If our government does not follow the very law written for these purposes, shouldn’t we wonder what other laws they have decided not to follow?
- The traditional media talking about how much the media “…talk about Trump.”
- Politicians that love you during election time and then forget who you are.
- The NFL’s utter cluelessness and transparency.
- Politicians who refuse to audit their own campaign finance reports.
- A Governor who talks transparency and acts like he’s a secret agent.
- Roads that magically repair themselves right before the big races.
- Spineless politicians who give lip service to transparency but act like they’ve never heard of it when a citizen asks for information and/or documents
- Self-assured fans of politicians who are just certain their candidate can do no wrong, no matter what party.
- The ability of those previously mentioned fans from excusing obviously bad behavior and management surrounding whatever their “favorite” politician did.
- People who believe polls at 14 months before the election.
- Politicians who only want to ask you for your opinion, but then ignore it and are timid in their fights for issues that matter to all of the citizens. (Legislative Priorities)
PRI reporters Kierran Petersen and James Edwards are reporting that two BBC journalists were told to either delete footage taken in the chase that found the shooter that killed two WDBJ-TV reporters early Wednesday morning, August 26, 2015, or they would confiscate the camera.
Will the Governor say this is also not available to the public, when this report comes out? And what of the media, covering their own grief, rightfully? Where are the media at in that such obvious violations of the law go unreported?
Strange days, indeed.
BBC reporters Franz Strasser and Tara McKelvey encountered a big obstacle in their coverage of a double slaying of journalists at a Virginia mall.
The two reporters were covering the manhunt of the suspected shooter when they were ordered to delete footage by police. On Wednesday night, Corinne Geller, the statewide public relations manager for the Virginia State Police, tweeted at Strasser.
Acting as if they had never heard of or seen the fact that information could be redacted, Terry McAuliffe and an official attorney both misstated the code concerning the release of information to the public on a radio show, Patrick Wilson of the Pilot has reported.
If the top officials in the state don’t know or would cover their employees by misstating code, what else would they do to keep secrets? Have they considered redacting this information?
Wilson reported that the two officials both said it was due to not being able to release personal information of the agents involved.
Every time you hear this from a politician, it should cause you worry.
‘We can’t give you FOIA information because… the dog ate my homework, it might affect commerce, We don’t do it that way, Nobody told me what to do, I didn’t know that I was required to, The attorney said no….”
(Suffolk News-Herald) Michael Kelly, director of communications for the Attorney General’s office, had this to say when asked why the office is pursuing cases so long after the original incident: “In each of these cases, demands for payment are made on the defendants prior to trial, so it wasn’t the first they were hearing about things.”