There are some very clear differences between the Minnetrista mayoral candidates. Transparency is a big one.
One of the Minnetrista candidate forum questions was “What does the word ‘transparency’ mean to you?” I didn’t participate in the forum for a variety of reasons which can be found here, but I’d like to answer that question.
Transparency, to me, means honesty, openness and a commitment to the public that nothing in our city policy making process will ever be hidden from them. It means decisions will never be made behind closed doors before matters are discussed with the council and open for public scrutiny. It means controversial issues will not be relegated to the very end of council agendas when the public has gone home or the council is too tired to engage. It means the title of agenda items will never obscure sensitive issues. And it means information will never be selectively distributed to avoid dealing with different perspectives.
I received an invitation to participate in an online League of Women Voters (LWV) candidate forum in September. LWV claims to be a nonpartisan group so I wanted to find out if it was true. I had reason to be skeptical from watching their local 2018 forums (see blog post “Were incumbents given forum questions?”) but was curious about their claim of nonpartisanship.
I looked up their organization on http://www.Guidestar.org, a site that publishes the IRS 1099 forms of nonprofits. From their most recently filed 1099 I found the names of their Communications Chair (Jeorgette Knoll) and Executive Director (Amy Arcand) and looked them up on Facebook to see if they appeared to be objective nonpartisans as advertised. Below is what I found:
No bias there on the part of those in charge of communications and running the Minnesota League of Women Voters organization. No doubt these two will be reprimanded and their Facebook accounts locked up tight going forward but I think I’ve seen enough to know this group is not transparent about their ideology.
The email I received from LWV indicated the forum would not be live-streamed (what if someone says something they don’t like?) but would be recorded “in case there are technical difficulties” and broadcast later. Candidates appearing must agree to the airing of a possibly edited version of the recording at a later date. Sorry, I will pass.
It’s time for people to stop accepting the fraudulent claims of “nonpartisan” nonprofits when there is evidence to the contrary. The League of Women Voters is obviously a partisan organization. There’d be nothing wrong with that if they were just honest and didn’t pretend they weren’t. No doubt our incumbent mayor will be more than happy to play that familiar game with them.