07.01.2008 0

Madden’s Madness

  • On: 07/16/2008 12:34:17
  • In: Colorado News

  • “When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.”
    – Samuel Goldwyn

    In the information age, citizens have enjoyed more access to the political system than ever before – despite all the efforts of the politicians themselves. Enter Colorado State House Majority Leader Alice Madden (D-Boulder), today’s leading nominee for ALG’s annual “Samuel Goldwyn Award.”

    A new bill sponsored by Rep. Madden would have made it all but impossible for the lowly citizenry (AKA “the People”) to obtain public records and information. After all, they have a bothersome habit of actually using the information to interfere with their own governance. Sheep, apparently, are supposed to bleat – not ask pesky questions.

    As Dave Barry would say, “You can’t make this stuff up.” The actual intent of the bill was to insulate and isolate politicians from the very people they are supposed to serve. As such, it was a clear threat to transparent government. As FacetheState.com’s chief editor, Brad Jones, the target of Madden’s madness, stated:

    “This is something that strikes at the core of open government and how willing our lawmakers are to let us open the hood of state government and check out the inner workings of the bureaucracy that’s spending our money and intruding our lives,” he said.

    Fortunately, the legislation was withdrawn by Madden because of overwhelming public pressure (pesky ingrates!):

    “Draft legislation that would have made it more difficult to get public records won’t be filed after all, the author said today following a [Denver] Post article that detailed the proposal… Madden said she abandoned the idea a while ago after feedback from First Amendment lawyers and media outlets was unfavorable. [Feedback like, ‘If you keep pushing that bill, you won’t be able to get elected dogcatcher in Silver Plume (population 203).’]”

    That’s pretty ironic. A bill which would have made Coloradan politicians less accessible was abandoned precisely because the public had access to it and stated their opposition. In short: they refused to kowtow to Ms. Madden’s Goldwyn dictates.

    ALG Perspective: The politicians like this State House Representative are always looking for ways to attack the citizens and call it “reform.” They rape the First Amendment while leaving themselves free to say or do as they please and call it “campaign finance reform.” They seek to force citizens to register just to talk to their own elected representatives and call it “lobby reform.” It is all a travesty. Politicians are the ones who should be regulated — even to the point of pain. They should not be allowed to do anything in private. If necessary, even their personal checkbooks should be posted online. But the citizens – yes, even corporations and unions and people with whom I thoroughly disagree – should be totally free to say or do as they please in the political arena. That was the intent of the First Amendment and the entire Bill of Rights. Time to get back to them.

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