Wednesday, April 29, 2009
TRACKING OUR LEGISLATOR SERIES: DO OUR OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY REPS "REALLY" CARE ABOUT "SUNSHINE?"
It is a rarity, but they did it!
Who did it?
The Repository Editorial Board.
What did they do?
Wrote a meaningful editorial.
Ohio's "open records" law.
What's so special about this?
Follow through, follow through and follow through. That's what!
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report/SCPR) applauds the The Rep's Editorial Board for criticizing (the Ohio Supreme Court's decision State ex rel. Toledo Blade Company v. Toledo-Lucas Cty. Port Auth. - See Courts deal setback to disclosure, April 27, 2009)
But there is a remedy for this "against the public interest" decision against requiring full public disclosure of the bases of actions by public entities when private legal counsel does the investigating. And the solution lies with the Ohio General Assembly.
If Stark County's legislators care, they will amend Ohio Revised Code Section 2713(A)(2) to provide for the situation the Toledo-Lucas Cty. Port Auth. case.
The Report is not optimistic Oleslager, Schuring, Slesnick or Snitchler will do so.
Why is The Report pessimistic?
Because of this group's collective refusal to act when it was pointed out to them that legislation granting public utility companies virtual veto authority over PUCO (Public Utilities Commission of Ohio) rate hike decisions. None of these legislators were even aware of this huge loop hole in the legislation.
Does anyone think any one of these legislators have the courage to stand up against American Electric Power, First Energy and Duke Energy?
Unless The Rep's Editorial Board, yours truly and the like keep up the pressure on our Stark County legislative delegation; they, like most public officials, will continue seeking to get from day-to-day; ruffling as few feathers as possible and maintaining a
de facto "the public be damned attitude.
The Report questions the stamina of The Rep Editorial Board.
Outside of "Sunshine Week," they do not do a consistent (let's say an Sunshine-esque editorial at least once a week directed at Stark's legislators) job editorializing in the public interest.
Is that about to change?
But one can fantasize, no?