SUNSHINE LAW POLICE
The Sunshine law is by far the most empowering tool Missouri Citizens have to access and ensure their government is open, honest and free of corruption. It guarantees Missouri's citizens can be free and self governed.
Do you care enough to request information about your local, state and federal government?
I do, mainly because I believe a fundamental truth about politicians - most don't believe in God. If politicians believed an omnipotent being sees, hears and records all ensuring accountability on a judgment day - the majority of laws we have on the books regarding open government wouldn't be there. Also, a heck-of-a lot of people would be out of a job.
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to write a guide to accessing your servants (the elected officials that have been appointed to serve you).
But what if they're naughty?
According to Missouri's House of Representatives District 23 Rep. Jeff Harris who is campaigning to become Missouri's next Attorney General, Missouri should have a Sunshine Enforcement Unit. Think about it citizens and very jealous foreign friends - a band of attorney's whose job is to politically execute any elected official who fails to deliver on their legal obligation to release information to the public when demanded.
As Yakov Smirnoff would say, "What a Country!"
In a conference call with Harris yesterday he suggested one of the duties of this unit could be to educate local government officials on how to perform on legal requirements when asked for information by a citizen.
When it comes to all forms of political evil and uncovering festering wounds from perversions of public trust the United States looks like this:
1. Federal Government - extremely open, the press has tremendous access to information.
2. State Government - Missouri has been innovative in their development to technology and tools for citizens to access their government. Governor Matt Blunt and Attorney General Jay Nixon office's have developed a good suite of programs available for citizens to access. Missouri's Judicial Branch is extremely accessible as well.
3. Local Government - Not so good. it's exponentially easier for me to get the president's choice of fish for lunch than it is to get an arrest list from COMET.
Harris also supports strengthening the Sunshine Law to include "negligence" as a standard for evaluating violations....."me like"
Harris is running in a three way race for the Democratic nomination. In terms of money, he's outperformed by Missouri Republican turned Democrat Senator Chris Koster.
Most of his campaign has attacked Koster, his lack of Democrat credentials and funding from Rex Sinquefield.