The Times Union has a very well punctuated story today about JJOKE's refusal to provide any additional information about gropergate. Jimmy V smartly requested minutes regarding the vote and transcripts of Shelly's testimony. Smart because he gets a story, well punctuated, either way. He either writes about what the information he requested is or he writes about JJOKE's refusal to provide it. It's like reading Proust in the Park, its a no lose, either you understand what Proust is writing and grow spiritually from the reading or if you don't those that see you will think you are a learned man, even if you don't understand a word but can find all the bad punctuation.
Anyway back to JJOKE and it's reliance that it is not subject to FOIL. There is an easy fix for the media's frustration over being unable to get the vote totals (if you ask me 4 commissioners refused to authorize an investigation of Shelly and as a result Biben never asked for a vote she couldn't win. . . remember the meeting where Marvin Jacobs made a motion to discuss the case in public that was defeated by the Cuomo appointees, thats when it happened . . . good work Marvin) heres the fix.
ASK THE COMMISSIONERS TO AUTHORIZE ITS RELEASE
Executive Law section 94 states at paragraph 9-a sub b and c as follows:
"(b)Except as otherwise required or provided by law, testimony received or any other information obtained by a commissioner or staff of the commission shall not be disclosed by any such individual to any person or entity outside the commission during the pendency of any matter. Any confidential communication to any person or entity outside the commission related to the matters before the commission may occur only as authorized by the commission.
(c) The commission shall establish procedures necessary to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of any information received by any member of the commission or staff of the commission. Any breaches of confidentiality shall be investigated by the inspector general and appropriate action shall be taken. Any commissioner or person employed by the commission who intentionally and without authorization releases confidential information received by the commission shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. "
It's pretty simple, stupid, the commissioners can individually release that information for 2 seperate reasons.
One the matter isn't pending anymore. It's over, finished, done. The reporters should be asking the commissioners directly to answer questions. THEY CAN IF THEY WANT TO and any commissioner refusing should be asked what they are hiding and when they still refuse to provide this vitally important information splash their name all over your editorial pages ruining whats left of their reputations. If you need their phone numbers I posted them on the blog last winter.
Two the commission as a body can authorize the release of the information. At the next meeting the media should pack the room and demand a vote to authorize the release of this vitally important information. Get Marvin Jacobs to make the motion and lets watch the wiggling begin. Once again when they still refuse to provide this vitally important information splash their name all over your editorial pages ruining whats left of their reputations. If you need their phone numbers I posted them on the blog last winter.
If the media really wants the information use the power of the pen AND GO GET IT. Stop being so polite. Anyone who has ever been in a street fight knows there are no rules and usually the fight ends with the first garbage can to the back of the head.
Here I'll show you how. Mr. Weissman did you ever vote for an investigation of Speaker Silver? Mr. Weissman can you explain why you are refusing to tell the public how you voted? Mr. Weissman can you explain who you are protecting by your silence? Mr. Weissman what public purpose are you serving by hiding your actions in this case. Mr. Weissman are you afraid of something? Mr. Weissman are you the source of Grandeau's information? (I can answer that I've never spoken to George Weissman). Mr. Weissman do you consider your service on JJOKE to be something you are proud of? Mr. Weissman when will you be resigning? Do that for all 14 commissioners on camera at the next meeting and come up with your own tough questions don't let them hide in the shadows anymore.
Or the media can always go in the park and read Proust, there is no downside to that.
Remember "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes" A smart dude said that in french a long time ago.