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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Idaho Ranks Sixth Worst In The Nation for Govt. Integrity Issues

By Dave Frazier (Boise Guardian)

Idaho made it on another National List recently, placing near the top of the “Lack of Integrity In Government” survey. Probably won’t see any press releases from Team Dave, the Commishes, or Guv. Butch’s spinmeisters on that one.

THE SURVEY by the Chicago-based Better Government Association examined open records laws, open meeting laws, whistle-blower laws, campaign finance requirements and conflict-of-interest laws. It then created a government “integrity index” that put Idaho near the bottom of the list–or the top when it comes to LACK of integrity in government.

Here at the GUARDIAN we see it all the time. Boise City nearly doubles the appraised value on desert land they took in trade, and claimed a 4 year old public hearing was legal authority to trade citizen owned property.

Twin Falls urban renewal agency does a land deal contingent on purchase of property from an urban renewal board member closing 2 weeks after he leaves the board to make it “legal.”

Cities violate the constitutional mandate to seek voter approval for debt and when they get caught they just try to change the constitution rather than comply. Boise and Canyon County try to claim they are “saving up for pay as you go” long term projects rather than allowing citizens the vote.

The citizen who asked for e-mails on a county zoning issue over a sign was charged tens of thousands of dollars for documents until a 4th District Judge stepped in with common sense and ordered the insanity stopped.

The rank of 44th best (or 6th worst) on the integrity list sure makes sense.

Editor note: We are certain you won't have to think very hard to come up with more than a few instances and examples of poor government integrity in Canyon County. The jail fiascos, the job service building purchase, poor responses to freedom of information requests are a few that come to my mind.

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