Maryland and the Long, Hard Road to Government Transparency

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Opening of the State of Maryland legislature Annapolis, Md

Sure, Maryland was recently praised for the availability of information on its government websites, the state is generally regarded as opaque and susceptible to corruption. But that doesn’t mean the General Assembly isn’t taking baby steps toward transparency. In an article in Maryland Reporter, Len Lazarick lays out the state’s recent attempts at lifting the veil.

Gov. Martin O’Malley made himself marginally more available to reporters at an informal, off-the-record lunch with the press on Friday. He may have felt at the peak of political candor, but Lazarick reminds us that “decades ago” these kinds of open-ended discussion were a given, and they were usually on the record.

Considering how YouTube-ized political coverage is nowadays — with each and every unfortunately phrased response opportunistically twisted into a news story — I can understand a hesitance to go off script, but the people deserve more than talking points. So, let it be on the record. As long as you don’t make sidelong references to slavery — or mention the word rape — you should be fine.

For more on Maryland’s stumbles toward transparency, read the article in Maryland Reporter.






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