Idaho government corruption
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"Gov. Butch Otter has assembled a team of experienced experts to sort through the 1,100 pages of the newly passed economic stimulus law.
The flipside to tapping people with experience, of course, is that they have connections. They work with companies or agencies that have a potential stake in how Idaho spends upwards of $1 billion in stimulus dollars.
And their work, while advisory in nature, will occur behind closed doors."
"When a public official uses e-mail to discuss public business, that e-mail is part of the public record.
And except in specific cases where the law says otherwise, that record is open to the public.
That was the lesson Fremont School Board trustees learned during a training session earlier this month.
Trainings are a regular part of the board's meetings."
"Eagle Mayor Phil Bandy reversed course Wednesday and released the names of 13 area residents who want fill the vacancy on the city council created when Councilman Steve Guerber stepped down last month.
Bandy said after again reviewing the Idaho Public Records Law that he determined the names could be made public.
Up until Wednesday, Bandy had declined to name the candidates."
"The State of Idaho is making steps to have court information more accessible.
With the help of http://www.idcourts.us/ you can now get information on trial court cases in all 44 Idaho counties from speeding tickets to major cases. But there's still a lot of education that needs to happen".
At a meeting on Monday, the council approved a resolution that created a policy to help guide the council's deliberations on whether to grant a fee waiver for such requests.
Idaho law requires that the fees be waived if a requester demonstrates an inability to pay or would "suffer by the assessment of the fee.""
The city council recently passed a transparency resolution requiring that the city post updated and detailed records of city revenues, expenditures, leases, grants and municipal contracts on its Web site."
"The Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has denied a public records request for the sent e-mails of Canyon County Commissioner Steve Rule, stating the e-mails don't exist.
The Kuna Melba News filed two separate requests on Dec. 15 and 29 under the Freedom of Information Act and Idaho Public Records Laws.
The Kuna Melba News filed the requests after it came to light that Rule had sent out a joke e-mail about Michelle Obama, comparing her to a black widow spider."
"A new national survey ranks Washington fourth in the nation for governmental integrity, openness and accountability – and Idaho 44th.
The survey, conducted by the Chicago-based Better Government Association, compared open records laws, open meeting laws, whistleblower laws, campaign finance requirements and conflict-of-interest laws, to create a government “integrity index.”"
"Dirk Kempthorne is lurching toward releasing papers from his seven-year tenure as governor - a mere 27 months after leaving office.
No one can accuse the governor-turned-interior secretary of rushing into this one.
The problem rests not just with Kempthorne, but with state law. Idaho code contains no guidelines and sets no deadlines for the release of the archives."