Washington Post Article

Wiggins, Ovetta, and Fenit Nirappil, Hogan warns that a ‘culture of corruption’ could be taking root in Annapolis, January 25, 2017.

Snider Comment

“[Sen. DeGrange], who co-chairs that committee, pushed back against Hogan’s characterization of the state capital and defended his panel, saying the lawmakers do hold their colleagues accountable…. ‘I’m baffled why he would think that legislators can’t do their job as they’ve done many times before.'”

Well, I’m baffled by DeGrange’s statement. As chair of the Joint Committee on Legislative Information Technology Open Government, DeGrange has for years been adamantly opposed to legislative transparency.  This opposition has included:

1) Making legislative roll call votes publicly accessibly by legislator (as opposed to merely being accessible by date and bill number) and in a machine-readable format. This format for legislative data is the most politically sensitive because it is by far the most useful for democratic accountability.  Even Speaker Busch has been on record since 2008 supporting such access to legislative roll call votes.

2) Allowing the public to search video of legislative hearing by agenda item.  Small towns, including Takoma Park, routinely do this as a service to constituents.  But one often gets the sense that the General Assembly’s move to webcasting was done begrudgingly and with the desire to limit its democratic usefulness to constituents as much as possible.

3) Discouraging Hillary Clinton like email practices (that is, making government email inaccessible via Public Information Act requests), which, as the Washington Post has noted, are endemic among his colleagues in Maryland State government.