Warning: Constant ABSPATH already defined in /home/public/wp-config.php on line 27
2009 April 17 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Speaking Of Transparency

The St. Petersburg Times does a follow-up on the Sansom/Richburg indictments: Grand jury calls on Florida Legislature to make budget process transparent

TALLAHASSEE — The grand jury that charged Rep. Ray Sansom and college president Bob Richburg with crimes Friday saved its harshest criticism for the Legislature itself — for backroom dealing and a culture dominated by special interest money that “has the potential to breed corruption.”

“The appropriation process that gives unbridled discretion to the president of the Senate, speaker of the House of Representatives and appropriation chairmen needs to be changed. This state should be guided in openness and transparency,” the grand jury report said. “This process allows taxpayer money to be budgeted for special purposes by those few legislators who happen to be in a position of power.”

Of course the Republicans say you can’t have a publicly debated budget – it would be too political.

As opposed to what? I would note that the Republicans also felt the grand jury report was political for noticing the lack of transparency.

Grand juries in Florida, and most states, have the right to investigate anything they feel like, not just what a prosecutor brings before them.

April 17, 2009   Comments Off on Speaking Of Transparency

I Think I See The Problem

Over in the Business section of MSNBC they have this article, States spending money to keep stimulus funds, that essentially is a lot of kvetching by various states that they don’t have the money to do all of the reporting that the Federal government wants in return for millions of dollars in stimulus.

There is this ancient practice called “double entry bookkeeping” that deals with the transparency issues for business and shows you where the money is coming from, and where it is going to, so you know how the business is doing. The people who do this are called bookkeepers and they really aren’t that well paid, so you should be able to hire a few.

If you are running a state, you should already have some of these people in your employ, and since you are spending tax dollars, you should already have transparent programs in place. These are normal procedures to prevent waste and fraud. If your state doesn’t already do this, you might want to vote for different people at the next election.

[

April 17, 2009   2 Comments

Opting Out

The World Privacy Forum has a convenient list and links to the Top Ten Opt Outs. These are the places you go to get your name off the mailing and calling lists that are being gathered to sell to various ne’er-do-wells, like credit card companies, catalog sellers, and various other spam/junk mail merchants like Citi “Corpse” and “AIiiieeG” Insurance.

In civilized countries you have to opt-in, i.e. agree to receive this garbage, but in the US you have to make them stop.

An example, when you send in a credit card bill that contains the mutilated remains of the card with a note saying “first, last, and only money you will ever receive from me”, do you really need to call a special number and then send a letter to a special address to indicate you are closing the account and you don’t ever want to speak to these people again?

April 17, 2009   17 Comments

Rule Of Law – Who Knew?

The Northwest Florida Daily News actually reports on the law working for a change:

Tom McLaughlin takes some time away from the Sheriff’s Office to report that a Leon County Grand jury indicts Sansom and Richburg:

State Rep. Ray Sansom and Northwest Florida State College President Bob Richburg have been indicted for official misconduct, a third-degree felony.

Richburg has also been indicted on a charge of perjury.

[

April 17, 2009   1 Comment

Friday Cat Blogging

Kitten Kollege

Friday Cat Blogging

Quiet over there!

[Editor: These are the litter-mates of last week’s kitten attempting to complete an important lesson in afternoon napping, but they were interrupted by Mr. Adventurous’ off camera battle with a waving palm frond.]

Friday Ark

April 17, 2009   2 Comments