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Ragan: “Citizens deserve to know what government is doing and why”



This news story was published on September 15, 2012.
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Dr. Laverne R. Joseph, president and CEO of Retirement Housing Foundation, Representative Sharon Steckman and Senator Amanda Ragan were on hand recently to celebrate the Retirement Housing Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Celebration at Pilgrim Manor in Mason City.

From Senator Amanda Ragan –

In a democracy, citizens deserve to know what government is doing and why.

The good news is that Iowans are among America’s most active citizens, with high levels of volunteerism and community involvement. We elect officials to work for us; we want a chance to offer input into government decisions; and we want to know how our tax dollars are spent.

Iowa ranked 7th last year in the nationwide, nonpartisan “State Integrity Investigation,” scoring well on laws dealing with openness and vulnerability to corruption (www.stateintegrity.org). Initiatives we approved during the 2012 session should push Iowa even higher in the rankings by ensuring state government works for you.

This year we built on Iowa’s strong foundation of open, transparent, accountable government by:

• Creating a searchable online database of the state budget so that you can get a look at how your tax dollars are invested to create jobs, improve student achievement and boost quality of life for Iowans throughout the state. (SF 2316)

• Requiring an ongoing, comprehensive review of all state department rules to eliminate those that are outdated, redundant, inconsistent or incompatible, and putting online a searchable database so that Iowans can see what rules are in place. (HF 2465)

• Giving Iowans better access to government information by creating the Iowa Public Information Board to address and resolve complaints related to our state’s open meetings and open records laws. (SF 430)

• Requiring funders of automated “robo-calls” to identify themselves so that Iowans know who is paying for campaign spending, and improving oversight to ensure campaigns are run fairly (SF 2236, SF 2313).

• Urging the U.S. Congress to regulate and restrict unlimited corporate campaign contributions that drown out the voices of living, breathing people. (SR 113)

• Increasing accountability and transparency when your tax dollars and property tax rates are affected by local economic develop projects funded by TIF (tax incremental financing). (HF 2460)

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8 Responses to Ragan: “Citizens deserve to know what government is doing and why”

  1. Union Influence Reply Report comment

    September 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    “In the 2009 stimulus and other legislation, Democratic lawmakers sent more than $160 billion in federal cash to states, aimed in large part at preventing public-sector layoffs” from 10/21/10 Wall St Journal. Oh I get it now. It’s your tax dollars that continue to pay higher wages to the public sector so they can continue to give more political contributions that helps elect people that do their bidding. Oops I thought that was just the corporations that did that.

  2. Union influence Reply Report comment

    September 15, 2012 at 11:34 am

    How about the one for U.S. Congress to regulate and restrict unlimited corporate campaign contributions that drown out the voices of living, breathing people? Oopsie are we going to include the unions in that so they don’t drown out the voice of living, non-union people? The BIGGEST outside spender of the 2010 elections was the union AFSCME (American Federtion of State, County & Munificpal Employees). At the time the 1.6 million member union spent 87.5 MILLION plus on the elections in 2010. Why don’t people know this? I run into many people that don’t have a clue how much union money is involved in elections and instead people scream about corporations but don’t know about union influence. Notice how the press doesn’t inform people well or they would know this? What’s up with that?

  3. JB Johnson Reply Report comment

    September 15, 2012 at 5:50 am

    In a democracy, citizens deserve to know what government is doing and why.

    How about

    In a republic, citizens deserve to know what government is doing and why.

    Also could you send a note to Nancy “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it” Pelosi

    • John Reply Report comment

      September 15, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Very good point JB. Most people don’t know the difference including our elected officials!

    • Matt Schultz must know the difference between a Democracy and a Republic Reply Report comment

      September 15, 2012 at 11:41 am

      Is that why Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz wants to illegally take away citizens’ rights to vote, while claiming he is only affecting illegal aliens? Because America is Republic (as in “The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”) and not a Democracy?

      • People want voter ID laws Reply Report comment

        September 15, 2012 at 11:47 am

        Don’t polls consistently show people are in favor of voter ID laws?

      • Katie Reply Report comment

        September 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm

        This year, you should be worried about people voting illegally for Romney. Democrats should be the ones wanting voter ID.

      • Daily Caller Reply Report comment

        September 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm

        Unbelievable. Daily Caller has article with Rep. Sherman of CA thinking we need a process so 12 million undocumented workers (AKA illegal immigrants) can unionize. Great!!! Then they can contribute to union dues that go to candidates and basically that helps give them the vote in this country. Illegals helping determine our elections. Is this okay with everyone?