Links from 2013-03-30

Can Techie Oust Orrin Hatch?

WN: When I asked you if you had time for an interview, you referred me to your online calendar. I was thinking that this openness is admirable, when so many public figures seem to want to be anything but public, and I also saw that you have a MySpace page. What would you say the upsides and downsides of your open approach to this campaign have been? Ashdown: Well, I feel transparency is a big part of my campaign. That is needed in Washington. And what I see in Washington is certainly we have a lot of scandal (in which) the Democrats try and blame on the Republicans, but I view it as a larger scandal of money and politics. And what I see in Washington is the Democrats stomping around, and they stand up and sign these ethics declarations for the television cameras, and then they say, „We need more restrictions on lobbyists,” but they really don’t lead by example. And it’s a really simple thing to make your office transparent. And when somebody takes on the mantle of public service, they lose the privacy that is in regards to that job. Now certainly their personal privacy should still be respected, but when they are doing something in relation to making legislation, or meeting with individuals, that should be open and transparent. And it’s easy to do. I mean, what I’ve done is elaborate in comparison to what Google calendar allows you to do. And so for these people to make the excuse that they can’t do it, I don’t believe it. I believe that they want to preserve the status quo. They want to keep the American people in the dark. And you know, there’s also concern about safety. If people know where I’m gonna be next Friday, a sniper could come and kill me. Well, publish the calendar retroactively. I think people would still appreciate knowing what’s going on and who you’re meeting with.

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