Transparency Takes a Holiday

In the wake of a court ruling requiring the California State Assembly to issue records of its members budget, Transparency this morning issued the following statement through his public relations firm, Black Box Strategies:

"The press and Assemblyman Anthony Portantino have declared this ruling a victory for me, Transparency.

"But I don't feel like celebrating.

"Why, you might ask? Three reasons.

"First off, part of my problem is how I'm treated in general. I'm the battered spouse of political values. Everyone says they love Transparency, but everyone beats me when they themselves have to be transparent.

"Second, I'm a great value, but I'm of two minds about Transparency in a legislative body. Yes, legislative records are public records, and they should be made public. But making legislation is like making sausage--to get it done, you can't have people looking at it while you make it. It's hard enough to get deals, particularly in a system as complicated as California's, even without transparency. So while things like budgets for lawmakers should be public, certain records of legislators should become public only after the passage of a little bit of time.

"Third and finally, this whole hubbub about Transparency of budgets is small stuff. The amount of money is nothing -- it adds up to millions of dollars. The California budget is billions out of whack. It's so bad that they're going to announce automatic trigger cuts next week to schools-- those cuts will probably be $2 billion.

"It's madness to be obsessing about me in times like this. Heck, I'm not even thinking about Transparency right now. I'm thinking of what I'm going to do with my kids when school ends an extra week early in the spring. Transparency doesn't have many high-quality child care options.

"Until the state solves these big problems, I should remain a secondary concern."

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