Sunday, July 19, 2009
UPDATE FROM TEXAS
While Michigan is busy making sure the kids at 7-11 and Mikky Dees are properly compensated, we’re grateful to be here in Houston helping ensure the city’s airport system keeps its offshoot enterprises transparent and that everyone involved does the right thing. Public records in Texas are much easier to obtain than in Michigan due to both better laws and a media that has simply put its foot down in many cases and let government know that it has to do its business in the open. Perhaps it is not related, but Texas is also one of the few states not to be economically sagging.
Construction is booming and this city shows few signs of any sort of downturn. Michigan truly needs some kind of body like Texas Watchdog that will work to keep government honest. In many states, philanthropists and business interests are funding watchdog groups in the best way possible; line up with the right people, hand over the means and get out of the way. This does not have to be political in any way. Transparency is an issue that rewards both sides in the best way possible; it creates an even playing field.
So who’s going to get the ball rolling in Michigan? Is there someone else who sees the need for truly non-partisan coverage of government aimed at keeping records open and is willing to bring on dedicated journalism pros to do it?