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Candidate survey on transparency released by Nevada Press Association and NPRI

By ThisIsReno

NPRI NEWS RELEASE

LAS VEGAS — The Nevada Policy Research Institute and the Nevada Press Association today released the responses to a legislative-candidate survey on government transparency — available at http://transparentnevada.com/2012-transparency-survey/.

More than 55 candidates addressed some of the most pressing transparency issues facing Nevada.

Six questions were asked, including: “Do you support civil and/or criminal penalties for government officials, in their personal capacities, who violate Nevada’s public-record laws?”

Another was: “Do you support placing local-government negotiations with public-employee unions under Nevada’s open-meeting law?”

“Nevada’s citizens have a fundamental right to know how their government is operating and how their elected officials are spending their money,” said Andy Matthews, president of the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

“Nevadans from across the political spectrum are demanding more transparency from their state and local governments, and this survey is a chance for citizens to examine the beliefs of those who are — and those who want to be — elected officials.

“Do these individuals value transparency or do they prefer to leave citizens in the dark? I think these survey answers, as well as the chance to see who chose to not answer the survey, are very revealing.”

The bipartisan list of candidates who responded to the survey includes both current Democratic Senate candidate and former senator Sheila Leslie and current Republican Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey.

The release of the survey results also comes just two days after Hickey proposed a series of campaign-finance reforms, one of which deals with a survey question topic: “Do you support requiring paid lobbyists to file reports concerning lobbying activities at the end of each calendar quarter in which the Legislature is not in session?”

“From these responses, there’s clearly an appetite for more open government in Nevada,” said Barry Smith, executive director of the Nevada Press Association. “They also show there is much work that can be done by the Legislature to help ensure the public isn’t kept in the dark.”

Agreeing on the importance of transparency in government and public understanding of the stance of elected officials on these issues, NPRI and the Nevada Press Association partnered to conduct this transparency survey.

As a public service, NPRI also runs the website TransparentNevada.com, which contains a wealth of public records, including hundreds of thousands of public employee salary records.

The survey and candidate answers are available online at http://transparentnevada.com/2012-transparency-survey/.

A list containing just the candidates who responded is available at http://transparentnevada.com/2012-transparency-survey/responded/.

Questions:

1. Do you support civil and/or criminal penalties for government officials, in their personal capacities, who violate Nevada’s public-record laws?

2. Do you support applying Nevada’s open-meeting laws to the Legislature?

3. Do you support giving the public 72 hours to read all bills before they go to a floor vote?

4. Do you support placing local-government negotiations with public-employee unions under Nevada’s open-meeting law?

5. Do you support requiring paid lobbyists to file reports concerning lobbying activities at the end of each calendar quarter in which the Legislature is not in session?

6. Will you sponsor legislation in support of any of the above items? If so, please specify which item.

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