On the Right Lane: Feb. 2

38

Behind closed doors, Part III.

“I have no doubt that the nation has suffered more from undue secrecy than from undue disclosure. The government takes good care of itself.”

Daniel Schorr, American journalist.

I can certainly let the reader know that this column is not about a famous song sung by Charlie Rich which came out in 1973. As a matter of fact, I really wish I knew everything that I want to write about, but the government likes to make sure that will never happen when it operates behind closed doors. Take, for instance, the committee set up by the Trump administration to look for voter fraud. I fully suspect that Maine’s secretary of state was right on when he sued to get information from the committee, as he was on it and being denied information. The committee must have found out it was a complete fraud itself, because it shut down and supposedly everything that was in writing was shredded. Now if that doesn’t sound like Watergate, what does?

It’s sad to state that government protects itself better than it protects us. No, I am not writing about a lack of police protection because it’s my opinion we could always use more, especially since we have become addicted to computers and what the internet does for us or, in some cases, to us. I was stationed in our nation’s capital when the Watergate affair was concluded and often went to the White House. I won’t say it gave any better insight than the news did, but it sure was interesting to watch up close and personal. Sad part is, I believe it happens far too often at every level of government. I often wonder how much happens that elected officials, like town councilors for example, don’t have a clue as to what is happening in the day-to-day operations of the community that they represent.

Probably one of the worst side effects is that the public has no clue when someone is fired or removed from their position for whatever reason it may be. We hear stories of substandard teachers, police officers and such could have been hired by another municipality without a clue of what they just hired. Sometimes we are truly lucky when the news media catches wind of such a rotten egg, but that certainly doesn’t happen the majority of the time. Sadly, the truth is, when someone in government doesn’t like a particular worker and railroads that worker right out of a job we don’t know. It is only by accident that we, the public, ever get wind of ill deeds committed by someone paid with hard-earned tax dollars.

Now Gov. LePage is forming a secretive committee called the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission, more than likely filled with his friends and cohorts who agree with his position on wind energy. It is obvious that he has no problem avoiding operating the state government in the open by not allowing the public to see what our government is really up to. He obviously follows the Trump doctrine very closely and, I may add, dangerously. It’s my opinion he can only have a committee which operates in secrecy because he wants only a certain outcome, which is going to obviously be his opinion. I certainly hope legislators have enough smarts to defund it immediately. Since it’s a commission on wind energy, wind might very well be the only thing it generates.

I find it immensely sad that a government formed centuries ago on the idea of freedom has since forgotten the very principles it was founded on. I actually have come to the conclusion that our government wants to protect itself from the very citizens it is sworn to protect. What’s even sadder is that this appears, at least to me, to be an ever-increasing action by government at every level. As a taxpayer, I am appalled at what our elected officials are spending taxpayer dollars on without the taxpayers even knowing. Does the average Windham taxpayer really know where their tax dollars go?

Lane Hiltunen of Windham has to wonder what government is really doing behind closed doors.