OPEN GOVERNMENT — Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit group supporting open government at the state and local levels, has given the State of California a Sunny Award for having one of the most effective government websites in the nation for promoting government transparency. Los Angeles County's website won an even higher distinctiona perfect score in the competition.
OPEN MEETINGS — A city council's firing of its city manager in a closed session labeled "evaluation of performance" rather than the more accurate statutory listing "discipline/dismissal/release" is being criticized as a violation of the Brown Act, but at least one council member says no deception was intendedthe decision to fire the manager arose only once the evaluation discussion got going.
PUBLIC INFORMATION/FREE SPEECH — A new Congressional bill responding to the Supreme Court's recently declared right of corporations to spend unlimited amounts in campaign contributions would limit corporate power to swamp other political funders' voices by requiring the leader of the largest corporate contributor to a broadcast ad to appear in that ad and state the corporation's support for the candidate or issue.
PUBLIC INFORMATION — A bill intended to end journalists' access to the home addresses of all crime victims failed passage today on a party-line vote in the seven-member Assembly Committee on Public Safety after a presentation based on myths and distortion, but was given a chance at reconsideration in the coming days.
PUBLIC INFORMATION – The controversy surrounding a planned fundraising appearance by former Governor Sarah Palin at California State University Stanislaus and calls for greater transparency in arrangements for the event from Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) have prompted several racist and obscene phone calls to Yees office and even a fax threatening the Senators life. Meanwhile, the public records litigation filed by Californians aware has drawn signals that appear conflicting.
PUBLIC INFORMATION — Californians Aware and the California Newspaper Publishers Association are opposing a bill, up for its first committee hearing next Monday, that would remove the addresses of all those arrested and all crime victims from the public record, leaving only the city of residence, if any, listed.