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Transparency: Easy to say, harder to do

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Transparency is hard. Just ask the governor, who is now learning, as her predecessors did, that one of the sacrifices of her job is privacy.
In the latest skirmish of the transparency wars, Gov. Susana Martinez called out a Democratic lawmaker for using a legislative agency to dig dirt on a political opponent.
Some perspective: The Slurpy hit the fan last month after the governor tried to restrict the Legislature’s two biggest watchdogs, the Legislative Finance Committee and the Legislative Education Study Committee, by requiring them to go through her chief of staff for information. A torrent of criticism from the media and both parties forced the governor to uncuff the committees.
This happened just after Sunshine Week, a media event that reminds elected officials to keep their cards on the table and their decisions out in the open.
Coverage of this controversy was interesting. The Albuquerque Journal, which has been so blatantly pro-Martinez as to sacrifice its credibility, blasted the administration for this move. Even red-county newspapers have noted the long fall from grace of the governor who campaigned on transparency. (To be fair, the Legislature has its own transparency blind spots, but that’s another column.)
We’re seeing more public records challenges.


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