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Editors sue student council for closed meetings

(08/01/04 12:00am)

The Mirror’s former editor in chief Jessica Perciante, current editor in chief Heath Urie and current managing editor Christopher Marcheso allege that the university’s Student Representative Council and its president, Steve Gustafson, knowingly violated state open-meetings laws when they conducted closed-door meetings on Sept. 24, 2003, Nov. 19, 2003, and Feb. 4, 2004.

Hasta la vista, transparency - Sen. Yee's attempt at reforming university foundations falls victim to Terminator 2

(11/15/10 11:39am)

True Movie Trivia Fact: Actress Linda Hamilton suffered lasting hearing impairment as a result of loud gunfire on the set while filming "Terminator 2." So perhaps this provides a medical explanation for the deafness of her co-star, California Gov.

Supreme Court debates First Amendment rights of elected officials in ethics law case

(04/27/11 7:17pm)

Supreme Court justices appeared perplexed Wednesday about how to resolve the case of a Nevada city councilman who claims his First Amendment free-speech rights were violated when he was penalized for voting on a casino development that financially benefited his campaign manager. Councilman Michael A.

More aware in Delaware? House bill would, finally, open university meetings and records

(05/19/11 4:57pm)

In 1743, Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia Gazette published a notice announcing the arrival of a new public institution of higher learning: We are informed that there is a Free-School opened at the House of Mr. Alison in Chester County, for the Promotion of Learning, where all Persons may be instructed in the Languages and some other Parts of Polite Literature, without any Expences for their Education. In the centuries since Presbyterian clergyman Francis Alison opened the doors of a 12-student academy in his modest home two miles outside the village of New London, much about the University of Delaware has radically transformed. But this much has not: The public had no legal right to demand access to its meetings or records in 1743, and it still doesn't today. State Rep.

TRANSPARENCY TUESDAY: If it 'looks like, smells like, walks like, and quacks like a duck' -- then FOIA it!

(05/24/11 5:33pm)

The nonprofit lobbying organizations that represent city councils, school boards and other governmental entities are undergoing significant, and much-needed, scrutiny by state legislatures and in the courts. The disclosure that the (since-removed) head of the Iowa Association of School Boards received an under-the-table raise boosting her annual pay to an eye-popping $367,000 -- three times what the governor of Iowa makes -- prompted Iowa legislators to patch a loophole in state law and require the IASB to make its records and meetings public just as the Association's member school boards must. Associations representing school boards, superintendents and principals wield enormous influence over policy-making at the state level, and are able to trade on their "quasi-public" goodwill when it suits their strategic purposes.

Supreme Court rejects Upside Down First Amendment claim

(06/13/11 5:00pm)

The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected a First Amendment claim by a Nevada lawmaker who argued that the state's conflict of interest laws requiring elected officials to recuse themselves from governance votes on issues where they have a conflict of interest violated his free speech rights. It was an odd, but important case.  In a nutshell, the case involved Sparks, Nev., city councilman Michael A.

College trustees lose open-meetings battle (they illegally closed a meeting) but win the war (nobody gets punished)

(07/27/12 8:36pm)

The good news for public access to government meetings: A New Jersey court says Rutgers University trustees failed to give proper advance notice of a closed-door "executive session," and discussed matters in that session that should've been deliberated in the open. The bad news: Nothing can be done about it. A disgruntled attendee sued after Rutgers' Board of Governors held a four-hour closed session in September 2008 preceding the board's regularly scheduled business meeting. The published notice of the meeting said only that the board would be going into executive session to discuss contract negotiations and other attorney-client matters.