Transparency is great, said the politicians trying to limit transparency

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?

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Governor, Counsel misstate Virginia Code to cover up ABC report

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.

Governor claims exemption appropriate in ABC case

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.

“If you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”

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….”

Buckingham School Division never answered FOIA request from February 2014

According the attorney for Buckingham School Division, I have not been specific enough in my February 2014 request for information.

He claims that I had been inspecific in my request, although I have spelled it out many times. The school division also refused to take my request for information in a previous request over the phone.

All this adds up to the school’s attorney attempting to create a record of me having slandered or insulted Dr. Snead or himself. I am glad to resubmit my request to them, as I did today.

Further refusal and obfuscation, along with ‘no place I would rather see you in court’ (attorney’s words) is unexplained, and in my opinion unnecessary.

Yes, sir.

Reference: VA Code 2.2-3700, et. seq.