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    Elon scholar identifies problems, potential solutions in N.C. public records law

    State law promises access to North Carolina’s public records. But flaws within that law can reduce government transparency and increase inefficiency. That’s the argument Elliot Engstrom, fellow at the Elon University School of Law, presented to the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society. Engstrom identified key problems with the current law.
    Mitch Kokai, September 25, 2017
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    Today at Noon at JLF: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Of NC’s Public Records Law

    Don’t miss Elliot Engstrom today at JLF — 12 Noon. Save your seat here. North Carolina’s Public Records Act provides for public access to government records. In pursuit of a general policy of openness, the Act lays out a process for requesting and, when necessary, suing for access to…
    Donna Martinez, September 25, 2017
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    Missing Money in Wake County Shows Need For Better Oversight of County Offices

    JLF’s Julie Tisdale, who looks at activities of local government, offers her perspective on the missing money in Wake County. The Wake Register of Deeds fiasco offers an extreme example, but one wonders whether other local government offices in the state that have had cash disappear.  Unfortunately, humans are…
    Donna Martinez, September 22, 2017
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    IRS avoiding transparency

    Ali Meyer of the Washington Free Beacon details some recent bad news involving the Internal Revenue Service and transparency. The Internal Revenue Service improperly withheld information from requesters after Freedom of Information Act requests were filed, according to a report from the Treasury inspector general for tax administration.
    Mitch Kokai, September 20, 2017
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    Harvey, Houston, and Land Development Transparency

    As the debate rages on–and it will for the foreseeable future–John Jacobs, a professor of watershed management at Texas A&M University admits that “almost all of the flooding in Houston is the result of poor development decisions.” But, he goes on to note that transparency, not regulation, would fix the…
    Kory Swanson, September 12, 2017
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    House Budget – A Dozen Initial Take-Aways

    We’re still combing through last week’s committee reports, sorting out details from this morning’s Finance meeting and waiting for the full budget documents, but we’re starting to get a picture of what the House proposes in its budget. Here are a dozen things that struck me: 1. Spending is same…
    Becki Gray, May 30, 2017
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    UNC’s attempt to avoid transparency attracts national attention

    Eric Owens of the Daily Caller shines an unwanted spotlight on the state’s flagship public university. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has turned down a television station’s open records request by claiming that it is a law enforcement agency. UNC Chapel Hill officials made their…
    Mitch Kokai, May 26, 2017
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    Look no further than film incentives, solar subsidies, and the recent vote on craft freedom

    From Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action, 1949, pp. 865-866. (To understand this passage in terms of the Orwellian language that dominates modern politics in North Carolina and elsewhere substitute the word stakeholders for Mises’ use of the phrase “pressure groups.”) The public looks askance upon the lobbyists and blames…
    Roy Cordato, May 19, 2017