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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Free the SFIs!

In a past life as an alleged state policy maker, I had to fill out the dreaded Statement of Financial Interest, laying bare (within ranges) my somewhat meager income and assets. It wasn't pleasant, but it was a fair price to pay for working in the public sector.

Back then Massachusetts also had a somewhat progressive law -- even if the filer was told who, if anyone, requested the document.

But time changes and the law has not. In the most significant lack of change, forms are available only on paper and only for a $1 fee. In an Internet age when information -- especially about those who spend taxpayers dollars -- is yearning to be free, the situation isn't healthy.

Significantly, when legislators -- arguably among those most unhappy at laying bare their finances -- passed major ethics reform legislation last year, guess what area wasn't addressed?

Which brings us to the effort by CommonWealth Magazine to force some changes in the state's disclosure law

All I can add is go for it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Center for Public Integrity has some of the older ones online. Here, for example, is Guy Glodis, who it turns out worked for a bank that had business before the Insurance Committee when he was the Senate Chair of it: http://projects.publicintegrity.org/oi/db.aspx?act=law&lid=MA-0199&cycle=2006

August 27, 2010 12:56 PM  

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