Left Attacks Florida Gov. Scott for Supporting Transparency They Endorsed in Minnesota

March 28, 2011

by William Mattox, Big Government

Under the category of “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott can file some news accounts of his recent unveiling of the transparency web site, www.FloridaHasARighttoKnow.com.  The site includes salary information about many key state employees – including those on the Governor’s staff – as well as records from the Florida Retirement System listing every government pensioner receiving at least $100,000 a year.

While this proactive disclosure of frequently-requested information won the Governor brownie points with some “open government” advocates, the head of the AFL-CIO and at least one major newspaper accused Gov. Scott of selectively releasing information to advance his pension reform agenda.  (See:http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/gubernatorial/florida-gov-rick-scott-launches-public-records-website/1157906and http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/03/19/2124262/pension-battle-overlooks-the-deeper.html).

Critics of Governor Scott considered it foul that he chose to highlight the 542 government pensioners that annually receive more than $100,000 from the taxpayers, rather than releasing the data on all pensioners in the Florida Retirement System.

Yet, many “good government” liberals in Minnesota must wonder what all the fuss in Florida is about.

That’s because Minnesota’s Democratic-controlled Senate joined in passing a 2005 law which requires most local governments in that state to proactively disclose their three most-highly-compensated officials each year.  (Seehttp://freedomfoundationofminnesota.com/minnesota-notifies-citizens-on-top-public-pay).

The logic behind the Minnesota law is simple – taxpayers can typically take one good look at the top numbers and determine whether or not there’s a problem in excessive government compensation.

If the compensation for the those at the top appears reasonable, then there’s probably little need to pore over the data for other government employees.  But if the top compensation is excessive, then that is a problem in its own right – and it could be a sign of a larger, system-wide problem in overly-generous compensation.

To read more, visit: http://biggovernment.com/bmattox/2011/03/27/left-attacks-florida-gov-scott-for-supporting-transparency-they-endorsed-in-minnesota/

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