Adney TSN Interview

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Bob Adney, Executive Director of Treasure State Network (TSN), appeared on KTVM News to give an interview about counties coordinating an effort to block open record requests.  Most of the counties claim they are understaffed and it would cost too much money and time.  As indicated in the original Freedom of Information (FOIA) request we are asking for a simple list of government contracts.  It would contain information about current contracts the government entity has with non-government entities over $1,000.  We asked for the identities of the contractors, values, contract purposes, award dates, and whether the contract was bid or no-bid.

One would think the counties and cities would have their outstanding contracts easily accessible in a list.  I find it troubling that this information is not readily available for themselves AND THE public. People need to know where their tax dollars are being spent.

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Obamacare

Healthcare Finger on the Pulse

I’ve seen articles, blogs, ABC infomercials, and rallies on Obama’s desire to have government run health care.  As you probably know I constantly wonder how, and why, politicians keep spending our hard-earned money.  The politicians need to stop spending or the dollar will continue to fall and they will bankrupt this great country.  By permitting politicians to spend and spend we are allowing them to take away our rights and freedoms.

All of the price estimates I’ve heard for the health care price tag are between $1 – $1.5 TRILLION DOLLARS?!

If politicians really want to save our children then CUT SPENDING and GET OUT of our health care system.

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California’s Budget Mess

CA Budget Pic

Years ago, I had the (dis)pleasure of working in California on a few political fights.  California is a beautiful state, but the liberal spend and spend more politicians were driving the car off the cliff.

Anyone with half a brain could see what was going on, but the politicians did NOTHING about it.  They just continued to spend and grow government.  The politicians did find time to blame their problems on other things, like the two-thirds vote needed to pass tax increases and term limits.

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The Press is Working Hard

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As many of you know, Treasure State Network (TSN)  has been getting a lot of press from our open records request.  You can read about the requests here in an earlier blog post.  The counties have implemented a coordinated effort to block the public from getting the records we requested.

The most amazing thing is the response by the counties.  They claim it would take too much money and time to get the records.  That claim is erroneous.  Our original letter simply states that we would like a list of all current contracts that the government entity has with non-government entities over $1,000.  We asked for the identities of the contractors, values, contract purposes, award dates, and whether the contract was bid or no-bid.

This information should be readily available.  If they DO NOT have the information they need to look at themselves and their practices.

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Counties Coordinate to Block Open Records

Transparency Logo

On Monday, we (Treasure State Network – TSN) sent out follow-up Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests trying to break through the organized blocking of their records by almost every Montana County.

To give a little background, on May 6th TSN sent a FOIA request to all counties in Montana asking for a list of all contracts the government entity had with non-government entities over $1,000.  We asked for the identities of the contractors, values, contract purposes, award dates, and whether the contract was bid or no-bid.

Almost every county responded with remarkably similar letters.  The letters informed us that in order to get this simple information we would have to schedule a time to drive to every county office and copy the records available at a price of $.50 for the first page and $.25 for each subsequent page.

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UM Tuition Increase

Apple

Last week, the Board of Regents voted to increase tuition at Montana State University (MSU) and University of Montana (UM).   As mentioned in my previous post, both schools wanted this increase.   It would impact all college students and families struggling in these tough economic times.

The University of Montana plans to cut about $2 million from its budget.  The university claims that these cuts will not directly affect the students.  

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Tea Party VICTORY!!

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As many of you have been following, a fight has been brewing between the City of Bozeman and the Bozeman Tea Party.  If you have not followed the events here is an article from last week in the Bozeman Chronicle.  The Independence Day Tea Party was approved for a permit to assemble, but denied the closure of Main Street on the morning of July 4th.

This was a troublesome decision for many of us.  The excuses given by the City for denying the permit were constantly changing.  In the end, we presented our case directly to the City Commission last night, as mentioned in this Bozeman Chronicle article.

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