Openness in government is not a liberal, conservative, Republican, Democrat, Independent, TEA party or Libertarian issue. The importance of transparency in local, state and federal government should transcend parties and political ideologies.
Checks and balances provide few checks and little balance when officials broker deals behind closed doors and conceal documents that contain important information that citizens have the right, and often the need, to know.
Local government has the biggest impact in the lives of citizens on a day-to-day basis. Whether it is in the form of property taxes, sales taxes, personal property taxes, business taxes, state-shared dollars or federal grants, loans and funding, local government is 100 percent taxpayer funded. The decisions being made, the monies being spent and the records being kept by city hall, the county commission, the board of education or the utility district all belong to liberals, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, TEA party volunteers, Libertarians and even politically disinterested individuals. All stakeholders have a stake in open meetings and public records and should care about transparency issues. Continue>>>