ORP Chair Bill Currier Calls On Ethically Challenged Governor Brown to Stop Politicizing Transparency Reforms
Wilsonville, OR - Oregon Republican Party Chair Bill Currier issued a statement today calling out Oregon’s ethically challenged Governor for playing partisan politics over the public records release process. “At the very time our state government should be moving towards de-politicizing the public records process in favor of the public’s right to know, Governor Brown’s office has admitted to manipulating a reform proposal for partisan political reasons,” said Chairman Currier.
Chairman Currier was responding to recent media reports that Governor Brown is proposing legislation that would steer oversight of Public Records Requests from the office of the Secretary of State for political reasons. Currier said, “The bottom line is that it is clear that no transparency reforms should involve Kate Brown watch-dogging Kate Brown, her staff, or her agency appointees. Given her recent ethics failures in the news (here and here), one wonders if she even knows the definition of the word ethics.
Currier noted that there was a last minute addition to the agenda of the final Attorney General’s Public Records Law Reform task force from the Governor’s Office that revealed draft legislation (LC0747) by Gov. Brown proposing a “Public Records Ombudsman and Council” - an important transparency function that exists in many other states under the name of Ombudsman. The text of the Governor’s proposal can be found by clicking this link. Unlike other public records functions in the state government, Brown proposes to have this position report directly to her instead of the Secretary of State.
The task force meeting audio can be heard at this link. Shockingly, at 1hr 30 secs when challenged by task force member and investigative reporter Nick Budnick, Gov. Brown’s Office Representative on the task force, Emily Matasar, openly admits that the Governor's’ team “started with the Secretary of State, but that didn’t end up feeling right. There’s political….you know…implications there as well.”
Of this naked partisanship, Currier said, “Such maneuvers by Gov. Brown serve to damage public trust. Voters wanted to have confidence that we will never have another Kitzhaber-like cover up. Governor Brown is giving them more of the same. This is machine politics at its worst. The Secretary of State in Oregon exists in large part to restore and maintain high public confidence, but needs all the tools possible to do this. Voters elected Dennis Richardson to restore balance and be this watchdog in order to guarantee that the rest of the Government run by the Governor is telling Oregonians the truth."
The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. Its Chairman and officers are dedicated to preserving and advancing Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.
Monday 12/19/2016–12:00 PM PDT
Contact: ORP Communications Director
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