Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Help Fight for Good Government in RI

This year, Common Cause RI faces new challenges in the fight for open, ethical government in Rhode Island.

Recently, we’ve been in the news speaking out about:
• vacancies on the RI Board of Elections that may jeopardize the 2008 elections,
• proposed ethics rule changes regarding financial conflict of interest,
• improving access to public records; and
• the inclusion of magistrates in the judicial merit selection process.

In order for Common Cause RI to take the lead on important reform issues like these, we depend on the support of Rhode Islanders like you who care about good government in our state. With your help, we will raise the funds to keep Common Cause RI strong and effective.

All of these efforts are especially critical this year, with elections coming up in November. Common Cause RI can’t make these reforms a reality without the support of Rhode Islanders like you. Please show your support for our work and make a contribution!

Click here to continue to the online donation page.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Common Cause Op-Ed

On July 3, an Op-Ed entitled, “Where are the R.I. board members?” by Common Cause RI appeared in the Providence Journal. The piece describes the electoral crisis that was avoided in Rhode Island due to Common Cause sounding the alarm back in April and also highlights the problems with accessing information about state boards and commissions.

Click here to read Common Cause’s Op-Ed in the Providence Journal

Monday, June 2, 2008

Report: Democracy Deferred II

State boards and commissions in Rhode Island play an important role in how government functions. Seats on these boards and commissions must be filled with new appointments in a timely manner if these bodies are to function at full strength with a healthy turnover of capable and energetic members representing the public. But is that happening?

A recently completed Common Cause study sought to find out:
1) Whether the public can ascertain which seats are filled on state boards, which board members are
serving past the expiration of their terms, and which seats are empty;
2) Whether the public can ascertain whether the governor is making appointments to these boards as terms
expire or seats are otherwise vacated; and
3) Whether the public can ascertain whether or when the Senate acts on governor appointments.

Common Cause discovered that there is no accurate source of information about the membership of state boards and commissions. The information available to the public is difficult to find and often unreliable.

Click here to read Democracy Deferred II

Click here to read Data Set 1 of Democracy Deferred II

Click here to read Data Set 2 of Democracy Deferred II