Friday, June 23, 2006

Pork suit

The Associated Press reports here that the Times Union is suing the leaders of the state legislature for concealing the names of lawmakers who decide how $170 million in taxpayer money is spent on pork barrel projects in their home districts.
In a suit filed Thursday in Albany's state Supreme Court, the Albany-based newspaper claims Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, violated New York's Freedom of Information Law by refusing to let the public see computer data that shows the member items each lawmaker obtained and who got the money.

Lawyers for the Hearst Corp., owner of the Times Union, prepared the lawsuit, which seeks to have the courts order both legislators to release the records and pay the paper's legal fees.

"At its heart, this case is the right of New York taxpayers to know where and how their tax dollars are being spent," said Eve Burton, general counsel for Hearst.

Albany Catholic suggests you contact your state legislator to ask what he or she is doing to insure we have access to this information. If they are not working on making it available, perhaps you can recommend they prepare for retirement after the November election.