Mugshot law signed — public record status preserved

ATLANTA — It will now be illegal for publications such as Mugshots.com to obtain arrest booking photos in Georgia, post them on websites and charge people to have them removed — and little damage was done to the state’s public records laws in the process. Gov. Nathan Deal ratified HB 845 in his office Thursday.…

Government transparency directly related to our liberty

In his book “Transparent Government: What it Means and How you can Make it Happen,” Donald Gordan quotes Patrick Henry’s words from the June 9, 1788 Virginia Constitutional Convention: “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” Gordon, who teaches…

Time to champion Sunshine Week

Sunshine Week 2014 begins Sunday, March 16. The Transparency Project encourages all open government advocates, newspapers, watchdog groups and public officials who believe in the importance of government transparency to join us in highlighting this week long effort. The American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are encouraging open…

Attorney-client privilege is a misnomer, often abused

Principle should always matter more than precedence or practice. As a matter of principle, government attorneys should represent the governed, first and foremost. In precedent and practice, however, it appears government lawyers cater their representation to elected officials themselves. Anyone employed with public monies should work for the public. If an attorney is hired to…

Common Cause Georgia speaks out on stadium move

Common Cause Georgia speaks out on stadium move Common Cause Georgia, another organization that, like the Transparency Project of Georgia, recognizes that our state and governments are sorely lacking in the way citizens are involved, published a blog this week calling for greater transparency in the controversial construction of a new stadium for the Atlanta…

Standing United for Open Government

Welcome to the Transparency Project of Georgia. As individuals it’s easy to feel disenfranchised, and to believe that the very people elected to represent us in fact assault the rights of the individual. Among our most important civil liberties is the fundamental First Amendement right of free speech, and among our most important rights to…

Officials who violate Sunshine Law will have to pay

Public officials who violate the state’s Open Meetings Act and who withhold public records are going to have pay — and pay dearly — because of action by the Georgia General Assembly. While lawmakers in many states have failed to enact real penalties for violations of the “Sunshine Law,” the Georgia Press Association (GPA) reported…