Congressman vows to crush #SunshineWeek like a bug

Cartoon by Lily Gist Yesterday we reached out to our readers and asked them to call their state legislators to pass an update to the outdated Massachusetts public records law (we'd still like your help doing that, by the way). Today we've received some push-back from a legislator who believes that the taxpayers of Massachusetts have no right to see what their government is up to.


When we contacted Congressman Cockroach's office, he issued a brief statement, saying he vows to make sure state and local governmental bodies in Massachusetts can operate without the constraints of a Freedom of Information law or any oversight from the public.

Congressman Cockroach shouldn't be too upset, though, because the proposed update to the public records law wouldn't alter the fact that the law does not apply to the state legislature. While it's a good bill that will increase government transparency in the Commonwealth, it would still allow the congressman to hide in the dark where he likes it.

Wednesday links (8/6/14)

Why Springfield police should get dashboard-cameras. Lowell hired private investigators to spy on an ex-library aide who filed a legal claim against the city.

Judge says Worcester police illegally searched vehicle in cocaine bust.

Massachusetts is one of 15 states sharing drivers' images with a controversial CIA "terrorism" database.

How US policy is responsible for the influx of Central American migrants.

The sharing economy will only thrive if the government doesn't strangle it with regulations.

"Native advertising" troublingly blurs the line between journalism and advertisements.

Wednesday links (7/30/14)

At two rallies in Boston, people showed their support for and protested against the governor's plan to house migrant children in Massachusetts. An MBTA transit police sergeant was put on paid leave after being arrested three times in two days.

A state trooper who is accused of killing a mother and daughter in a drunk driving crash was allowed by a judge to leave the state and travel to Maine for a family vacation, angering the family of the victims.

Cambridge business allows people to try out 3D printers and laser cutting tools.

What are the chances of there being a second Probation Department scandal trial?

A report by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU finds that journalists and lawyers are being harassed and intimidated by government surveillance efforts.

Monday link (7/21/14)

The number of full-time reporters covering the Massachusetts State House is shrinking. Local journalist says he was almost thrown out of the State House for taking a picture.

Deval Patrick offers sanctuary to undocumented children in Massachusetts.

The Supreme Court's ruling on searches of cell phones leaves open a giant loophole in privacy law.

68% of Americans think elections are rigged in favor of incumbents.

Edward Snowden says that NSA employees consider looking at and sharing nude photos of the public to be a "fringe benefit" of their jobs.

Tuesday links (7/15/14)

The State Ethics Commission is looking into a possible "conflict of interest" after Agawam police gave a ride home to a officer who was involved in a drunk driving accident instead of arresting her. At the time of the accident, the officer was on leave after having shot a pregnant woman in the face. Medical marijuana caregiver who is suing the state has some choice words for the Department of Public Health.

Dozens of journalist groups have criticized the Obama administration's tight controls on what information is released to the media, calling them a "form of censorship."

NSA whistleblower Bill Binney says the agency records at least 80% of all domestic phone calls.

At the heart of the border crisis is the war on drugs, which is responsible for much of the violence in Central America that has caused people to seek refuge in the US.

Video-recorded confessions can be misleading.