Saturday, March 25, 2006

Austinites sue over misleading ballot language for Open Government, Enviro charter amendments

A group of Austin voters affiliated with the Clean Austin campaign have sued the City of Austin to change the misleading language placed on the May ballot regarding the Open Government Online and Clean Water charter amendments. Jordan Hatcher, founder of this blog, is one of the plaintiffs along with former state Rep. Glen Maxey, Jeff Jack, Paul Robbins and Ann del Llano..

Read the
plaintiff's petition here. Discussion of the Open Government Online amendment begins on page 8.

Austin city attorney David Smith
told the American Statesman the law didn't require that the ballot language be accurate, only that a voter must be able to identify the measure. If that's actually the legal standard, it's the only way the City can win because the current ballot language is blatantly misleading. As the petition states, the city's approved ballot language "completely ignores key portions of the Amendment while portraying the Amendment as hostile to specific provisions of the Amendment. These include voter hot button issues of protection of privacy and cost-efficiency of city government."

A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled Thursday, the Statesman reports.


At 6:29 AM, Blogger griffin said...

Why would a blog stop accepting anonymous comments? Sounds like an attempt to silence any rational constructive discourse and promote only one sided propaganda. I support a more open government, but I cannot support a group decrying a closed system, claiming private cictizens can retain their anonymity in dealing with the City, and then requiring all who comment to identify themselves in real time for all to see. A bit hypocrtical dont ya think?

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It lets me comment anonymously, e.g., this comment. I'm not sure what's happening - try again.

-Scott Henson, Gritsforbreakfast

At 11:26 AM, Blogger JS Hatcher said...

I got concerned about comment spam over the weekend. As our blog grows in popularity this will become more and more of a problem. I was going through the settings in an effort to find out ways to deal with this problem and I accidentally left it set to "no anonymous".

I have changed it back to allowing anonymous posting. There are better options.

For the record, however, I believe that you are wrong, Griffin, and that it would not be hypocritical of us to have it set this way. There is no law or rule that you must give correct information to Blogger. You could set up a profile however you wish. Make up a name and an account. Use a disposable email address to do it.

A psudeonym is not a hamper to "rational constructive discourse" nor does it "promote only one sided propaganda". If that was the case, the founding fathers of this country would never have used Publius as their identity when writing the Federalist papers.

One can state their position on an issue even when using an assumed name. I notice that you spent your post writing about anonymity, rather than getting a disposable account and writing some constructive discourse.

We have allowed anonymous posts from the begining, and will continue to do so. I thank you for pointing out my error over the weekend.


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