City Government

National Review Praises GUARDIAN

Stephen Spruiell of the NATIONAL review has a new weekly column on government waste.

The GUARDIAN was featured in the current piece along with the WASHINGTON POST…not bad company. Here is what he had to say:

Boise Blogger Exposes City Official’s Taxpayer-Funded Club Membership
Last week I asked readers to write in with tips about wasteful spending at the state and local level, and I received a great one about a city official in Boise, Idaho who got caught living large at the taxpayers’ expense. After receiving a tip of his own, Boise blogger Dave Frazier made an open-records request and discovered that Boise’s city-development corporation was using tax dollars to pay for its executive director’s membership and fees at an exclusive private club. Local media followed up on the story, and within days the corporation’s board had announced that it would stop paying its director’s dues, thus saving Boise taxpayers around $4,000 a year.

It doesn’t sound like much, but Frazier writes on his blog that drawing attention to this issue is part of a larger push for more transparency and accountability from the agency’s board. More importantly, it shows how just one committed taxpayer using nothing more than public-records requests and the Internet can actually start to demand such things from his government.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I can’t be the only one that would enjoy this blog so much more if it weren’t so focused on one man’s ego.

    EDITOR NOTE– Try “A Channel 7 team report,” or a “Channel 6 exclusive.” Dude, we do this for fun and we are making fun of things like, “Idaho’s chief metorologist” and all the self serving meth hype etc. Chill out and enjoy.

  2. Congratulations and keep up the good work. As a tax payer, I appreciate it!

  3. Clippityclop
    Mar 26, 2007, 10:15 am

    Congratulations, Dave. You totally deserve the recognition and taxpayers throughout the valley applaud your dedication. Whether they realize it or not, you are also doing these government agencies an enormous service. Anything that helps make government more transparent and accountable is good for everyone.

    And it’s not as though you can’t give out pats on the back. Remember the praise you heaped on ITD for doing the right thing on SH 55?

  4. Hmmm……nicely done. Now place hand on back and gently pat. 🙂

  5. With agreement to the Editor Note to Not Dave, I’m sure there are many Boise/Ada taxpayers who appreciate the light this site shines on the often-sleazy side of local politics.

    As Dave is wont to say: Follow the Money. It usually explains it all.

    P.S for Dave: Been fishing at Brownlee lately? Seems last time we went the biggest thrill was a foul-hooked carp (circa 1980). Oops! Probably just blew my cover.

  6. Kudo`s to ya Dave…You do good work in rooting out this kind of stuff. Maybe one day the officials will relize they are being watched..

  7. Not Dave- Well bud get off your tired Butt and help out with some of the research.

    I for one say GOOD WORK! Boise Guardian.

  8. I don’t care who is jealous or whose ego is enhanced or who is having fun or who is not having fun or who is getting made fun of, as long as we can get stuff to work and decrease our taxes.

    We the people….

  9. Not Dave, you need to learn the difference between “ego” and “Passion” Did you spend countless hours trying to wrangle public information from bureautic agencies that are anything but helpfull? How about the endless public meetings that have been suffered through in order to insure that what was said was done?

    The Guardian sure has earned his money watching out for the community! Wait, I guess I am not quite right on that last statement. Guardian, just how much do you make for all this effort? I remember now. NOTHING, ZIP, NADA !!!

  10. I hate the huff and puff on TV too. Nice try at redirection… the bottom line is: you like yourself a little bit too much.

    Chill out and just report. Your readers will thank you.

  11. “The GUARDIAN was featured in the current piece along with the WASHINGTON POST…not bad company. ”
    Congrats, BG. And, yep, WP is big company.
    Wonder what the WP folks thought about the company they’re keeping, though, with the Boise — Hey, anybody here know what a Boise is? — Guardian.
    Yeah, I think it’s near Des Moines.
    Naw, it’s in Rwanda or some such country …

    🙂

  12. laughs, cool deal

    funny how one can mock, and point out the obvious
    and get more info than the “news”

    t

  13. Congrats on the recognition, may this not be your only 15 minutes.

  14. I’ll make a deal with you “not Dave”. The day you start paying the bills (all of them) that are incurred with this effort, then you can act like an employer.”Chill out and just report?” I am sorry, but who the hell do you think you are?

  15. Have you ever posted instructions on how one goes about filing an open-records request? That might help others sniff out similar instances of inappropriate spending. Thanks!

  16. I feel a bit misunderstood.

    I LIKE this blog. It does GOOD THINGS. It’s a bit crass for my tastes… but I think the EGO drags the whole thing down.

    Do what you set out to do Dave and you’ve got a great thing.

    Oh and Cyclops… I was just riffing off the “Chill out and enjoy” — no foul intended. And I know who the hell I am 🙂

  17. db – For more information about accessing public records and ensuring that the politicians are abiding by the Open Meeting Law, check out the manuals on the Idaho Attorney General’s website at http://www2.state.id.us/ag/manuals/index.htm

    What I usually do to access records is send an e-mail message. Some agencies have a form they want you to fill out… ask them if you can e-mail or fax the form to them, if you have the equipment to do so, or if you can fill it out when you pick up the records so you don’t have to make two trips.

    My standard letter starts off with: “Pursuant to the Idaho Public Records Law, Idaho Code §§ 9-337 through 9-350, I hereby request copies of the following public records:” I then have a bulleted list of the documents, tapes, or whatever, that I am requesting.

    At the bottom of most of my requests, I also say this, “If the cost for providing these records will exceed $20, please contact me before fulfilling this request. Thank you for your prompt response.”

    The Idaho Public Records Law prohibits the agency from asking you questions about why you want the records, etc. By specifically requesting that they contact me if the cost of the records will be over $20, I not only prevent a big financial headache for myself, but in my mind, at least, I am giving “permission” for more discussion about the records I am seeking to ensure that my request hasn’t been overly broadly interpreted.

    You’ll have to rely on someone else to provide expertise about the federal Freedom of Information Act, but if anyone would like to contact me for assistance in figuring out where or how to get your hands on state or local records, please feel free to contact me by e-mail at sharonu@cableone.net or by phone at 362-0843.

    I hope this helps!

  18. Not Dave:
    Here is the wonderful thing about being a free American. If you don’t like something, like this blog, you do not have to consume it. Perhaps you should go elsewhere, like KTVB, to find your news and information that is “less crass”, as you put it, and perhaps spoon fed to the taste you enjoy most.

    I’ll continue appreciating this refreshing “crass”, which cannot be found anywhere else in Idaho media. Personally, it is about time another angle is represented. I may not agree with everything posted, but I certainly appreicate the viewpoint and coverage of topics that is not found in other local media outlets. Thank you Dave F!

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