Governor Ron DeSantis (FL) has a transparency problem. A governor’s job is to work for his constituents who elected him. His lack of notice to the press – intermediaries for the taxpayers the Governor works for – has been a problem for DeSantis.
Since May 2020, The Phoenix has reported on his lack of informing the press of his whereabouts. Gov. DeSantis is often secretive, leaving reporters and taxpayers in the dark.
A Rising Star in the GOP.
A rising star in the GOP, a run for president maybe in the works. One can’t keep their whereabout secret forever. He is fundraising for reelction and for a possible presidential run.
In June, for example, he attended fundraisers in Los Angeles, Irvine, Manhattan Beach, and San Diego, Calif., as well as in Las Vegas, as POLITICO reported. The Governor’s daily schedule listed none of these events.
According to Florida Politics,
"Historically, the governors of Florida routinely and regularly provided access to their calendars in sufficient time so that, if you know the governor’s going to be in Jacksonville tomorrow based on his calendar, and it’s a story you want to cover or I as a citizen want to be sure I’m there, then we have sufficient time to get there,” said Barbara Petersen, who recently retired after 25 years as President of the Florida First Amendment Foundation told the Florida Phoenix.
On Monday, July 26, the Governor planned a 12:30 p.m. roundtable discussion about mask mandates in Florida schools. DeSantis’ office didn’t release his daily schedule until 9:20 p.m. and didn’t invite news reporters who might have reported about the mask event.
The Florida Channel wasn’t there to broadcast the proceedings, as is routine for government business. And no pesky reporter was around to ask the Governor about, say, the recent uptick in COVID infections.
On Wednesday, July 28, the Governor’s office did give advance notice of a news conference in Santa Rosa County, where DeSantis announced plans to reduce bridge tolls. He then high-tailed it in his SUV without taking questions from reporters about matters of public concern.
The Governor’s daily administrative schedule is an official public record; he is obliged to share it with the press and public. But under the DeSantis Administration, the public document has been reaching reporters well after most meetings and events are over and done with.
Governor DeSantis works on behalf of his constituents. He should disclose his calendar in a prompt manner so reporters have the opporunity to get to events, not just to cover them fo newspapers, but to asl the Governor questions.
Looking ahead, we know that DeSantis plans to address the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, this week in Salt Lake City only because that organization — which brings state legislators together with corporate lobbyists to draft model legislation — made the announcement.
What do you think about this? Do you think the press and public has a right to know the business of our governors? Let us know in the comments!
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