Seeking Transparency in Jeffco Teachers Union Negotiations

Update IV, 5:15 PM: For the record and for the sake of full disclosure -- yes, the information related to open negotiations that I have requested from Jeffco Public Schools has been done in my professional capacity as a senior policy analyst for the Independence Institute. My personal and professional opinions happen to be in very close harmony on this issue. And both versions of the recording -- the low-quality one I deleted and the higher-quality one linked just below -- came from a concerned citizen who attended and recorded the public meeting. Thankfully, because the district's recording of the relevant part of the meeting was not posted due to the aforementioned "system error." Update III, 3:40 PM: I have obtained a better 5-minute … [Read more...]

Aurora Citizens Denied: Colorado Springs Not State’s Only Front in Push for Open Government Negotiations

In a time when a large fiscally conservative grassroots movement like the Tea Parties have developed a strong voice, we shouldn't be surprised to see calls for greater transparency in government operations. Not only when it comes to the fiscal ledger ("if you can't defend it, don't spend it"), but also when it comes to those union negotiations that drive so much of government spending. Should any government contract negotiations be done behind closed doors? Why should unions be treated any differently? In Colorado Springs a citizen lawsuit has pressured one of the state's largest school districts to concede to opening up one teachers union bargaining session to public observation. (Decisions on future sessions pending... most likely on … [Read more...]

Supreme Court Campaign Case Pits Colorado Ethics Watch vs. Colorado Education Association

This little tidbit I uncovered either shatters the grand Colorado Democracy Alliance (CoDA) conspiracy theory or proves it to be even more convoluted and diabolical than previously imagined. But court documents show two of the Alliance's core groups -- sue-happy Colorado Ethics Watch (CEW) and the Colorado Education Association (CEA), the state's largest teachers union -- on opposite ends of a state supreme court case regarding elections law. Back in 2008 CEW filed suit against a couple of Republican 527 groups (Senate Majority Fund LLC and Colorado Leadership Fund LLC) claiming that they had overstepped the bounds of campaign finance law by participating in "express advocacy" of state legislative candidates. The administrative law judge … [Read more...]