Feb. 26, 2014 — As Cobb County proceeds with plans to subsidize a $672 million stadium for the Atlanta Braves, questions continue to surface about the transparency of county leaders’ deliberations and the accuracy of the projected public benefit and cost to taxpayers. Here’s what I’ve written on the subject recently for Atlanta Magazine’s Daily Agenda:
- Neither snow, nor sleet, nor taxpayer objection keep Cobb from fast-tracking stadium plans
- Proposed law could cloud spending details on Braves, Falcons stadiums
- What Cobb businesses might be taxed to help cover Braves stadium costs?
- Did Cobb commissioners’ briefings on Braves violate Open Meetings Act?
- Braves may seek even more millions in public assistance
- Who knew about Tim Lee’s ties to turf company before Braves deal?
July 29, 2012 — Rep. Rashad Taylor, deputy whip for the House Democratic Caucus, filed the first financial disclosure for his 2012 campaign at 9 p.m. last night, three weeks after it was due. The filing included $9,100 in previously undisclosed donations, but he still hasn’t accounted for more than $15,000 that other candidates and political committees say they’ve given him since 2009.
Former state ethics official Rick Thompson says Georgia doesn’t need all the auditors and investigators it once had because auditing of politicians’ financial disclosures is now automated. This would seem to refute some of my recent findings about weak ethics enforcement in Georgia.
Except, of course, that it’s not true.
State legislators say they welcome transparency regarding their personal finances — corporate and real estate holdings, government contracts and the like.But who decides what constitutes transparency? Who checks whether they’re telling us all that we’re entitled to know? They do. Just as war is too important to be left to the generals, transparency is too important to be left to the politicians.
Ga. seeks to strike down Voting Rights Act Cobb EMC delays action on transparency Dougherty Co. principals who invoked 5th Amendment named
Fish kill inquiry to include scrutiny of kaolin mines DeKalb schools institute ‘transparency’ measures Union City contractors refuse to talk about how they landed contract Warner Robins councilman indicted on extortion charges
Teachers question raises for Cobb superintendent’s staff Transparency confusion hits Valdosta candidates Austell mayor defends hiring firm owing $19K in back taxes Ex-Columbia Co. commissioner reindicted for child molestation
Cobb EMC chief indicted for racketeering, theft Deal sets up payment plan for debt Editorial: Transparency missing in tax reform panel
Fayette judge’s indiscretions recounted in court; subpoenaed ex-judge a no-show Grand jury meets, ex-judge Oxendine appears Marietta mayor pushes for transparency Cobb Commission chairman candidate’s 1995 bankruptcy becomes an issue Attorney says Columbus park & rec probe is vendetta by mayor
Price among 8 congressmen investigated for fundraisers held near financial reform vote ATL to pay almost $500K to settle cabbies’ lawsuit Doraville police captain suspended during investigation Opinion: New ethics law brings more accountability, transparency
Indictment: Ex-hospital CEO falsified records, tampered with witness Mohawk settles carpet workers’ suit for $18M Deal used $19K in campaign cash for ethics defense Opinion: GA Legislature defines ‘transparency’ strangely GA congressmen fly high on privately sponsored travel
Open government advocates got an early holiday gift from the White House today. The Office of Management and Budget released the detailed directive to federal agencies on transparency that President Barack Obama called for on his second day in office. The 11-page directive sets out specific tasks for agencies and gives them deadlines.