politics

Hawaii Legislature Threatens Freedom of Information with SB 2858

Media Council Hawaii, along with 16 other community organizations are appealing to the state legislature on SB 2858.  In her OpEd at Civil Beat today, UH Manoa Professor emerita Beverly Deepe Keever explained problems with the bill. She said there are "portions of the bill that would permit a government agency to go to court to contest an official agency’s decision compelling disclosure to the public of a record to which the law entitles it." We agree.

"Retaining FOIA in the existing bill," said Keever. "Would unnecessarily weaken OIP’s powers, waste limited resources of OIP and other agencies, and make it even more difficult for citizens to obtain government records in a timely manner.

Read the complete OpEd here and follow the bill here.

 

FreePress Launches 'Who’s Hiding Behind That Ad?'

"If you flip on your local television station and watch for an hour or so, you’re likely to see at least one: a political ad that attacks a candidate for public office. If you live in a 'battleground

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state,' you’ll see as many as 12 political ads an hour," wrote FreePress's Senior Director of Strategy, Tim Karr in an email. "Iowa just experienced this on-air onslaught of misinformation, offering the rest of us a preview of what television viewing will be like across the nation as Election Day 2012 nears. While we may not be able to stop this barrage of ads, Free Press has a plan to expose their funders," he added. Currently, broadcasters are required to upkeep "public inspection files" that contain information about political advertising for public examination. The files should contain names of groups that purchase political advertising time and costs involved. According to Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group, media companies are expected to see more than $3 billion in revenues in 2012 from political advertising. Yesterday in the Hawaii, Civil Beat ran this editorial , citing recent poll findings "that the state's registered voters believe the wealthy — whether corporations, labor unions or individuals — have an outsized impact on elections and the decisions of members of Congress." To determine how large of an impact private wealth will have on the 2012 elections in Hawaii, examining the public file of the state's broadcasters is a good place to start. Look for a local effort by MCH to hold broadcasters accountable for their public files during this election cycle. Updated: Check out On the Media this week for more discussion on a new FCC proposal to put the public files online. Transcripts for the shows are available at their site Monday.