From the NY Post:
Doesn’t everybody agree that sunshine on the City Council’s pork-distribution process would be a good thing?
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio announced two months ago the creation of an Internet database that councilors could use to list not-for-profit supplicants with an eye on a slice of city pork — that is, a so-called “member item.”
It’s a notion with considerable merit, given the insults various politicians have dealt to the public trust in recent years. Scarcely a week goes by without news of a public official turning the invariably secretive member-item allocation process to personal or political advantage.
De Blasio’s plan is simple enough: He wants everything online weeks before the City Council actually votes on patronage disposition.
Yet only five of 51 councilmembers provided de Blasio with the information.
Why didn’t more respond?
A good idea is a good idea — and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn needs to endorse this particular good idea, or something very much like it.
That is to say, to use her considerable influence to persuade her colleagues to make public every dirty detail of their member-item dealings.
De Blasio wants Quinn to post member-item information by April 30.
Sounds good to us.
And from the Daily News:
The time has come to cough up the information, Madame Speaker.
This data should have been open to sunlight long ago. Allowing the taxpayers to review what their representatives are doing with public money is as basic as it gets in good government. The Council's disregard for this simple principle explains why one councilman is in prison for theft, another stands indicted on theft charges and two staff members have been convicted of theft.
Did we mention that the Council got caught running a phantom slush fund budget?
The five members who disclosed to de Blasio their so-called member item requests are Jessica Lappin and Ydanis Rodriguez of Manhattan, Jumaane Williams and Erik Martin Dilan of Brooklyn and Dan Halloran of Queens. Constituents can visit advocate.nyc.gov/open-govt to judge the proposed spending.