Del. Brooke Lierman loves to present herself as a champion of government transparency. But in the name of open government, no Maryland state lawmaker has in recent years done more to harm it. In her commentary (“We must know where tax dollars are and what they do”), she promises Marylanders: “As comptroller, I will double down on the data collection resources at our disposal, make them transparent and available to the public.”
To be sure, for anyone running for state comptroller, it’s smart politics to claim that she will be a champion “of transparency in how tax dollars are managed.” Who could be against that? And this would also be music to my ears if her track record suggested her claim was credible.
Alas, while serving in the General Assembly, Lierman has talked a very good game on government transparency while filling her legislation with fine print that ends up doing more overall harm than good to the cause of open government. Confronted with top government officials and special interests who hate transparency for themselves, she has caved in and made them even less accountable to the public. With Lierman, the key is always to pay attention to the implementation details, not the soaring rhetoric.
Source: Snider, J.H., Lierman is no friend of transparency, Capital, Feb. 13, 2022.