Off the Ice: Clearly we need some transparency

Jun 20, 2012, 3:37 PM | Updated: 5:45 pm

I like when things are transparent.

Aside from the obvious reason (zombies can’t hide behind
things that are transparent), I find that when nothing can
contain a secret it tends to be simpler, smoother and,
overall, much more popular.

That doesn’t sound anything like the Goldwater Institute
(and I’m pretty sure they’re hiding zombies, too).

As the Coyotes saga enters what feels like the
947,812,045th year, we’ve seen the claims — from both
sides — that transparency is necessary in order to
facilitate the sale of the team to prospective owner Greg
Jamison.

I couldn’t agree more. Granted, some may argue that
transparency would allow both sides to nitpick even more
and the possibility of lawsuits would increase, but you’re
wrong. Transparent organizations have to cut out the shady
deals, the conflicts of interest and the unnamed donors.
When everything is out in the sunlight and available for
public perusal, it’s impossible to keep skeletons (or
zombies) in the closet. When those undead things aren’t
permitted to exist, it’s miraculous the way lawsuits fade
and business gets done.

The Coyotes deal is still creeping forward, but about
1,800 signatures could really complicate things. Should a
referendum pass, the Coyotes deal could move to a vote. I
can guarantee that, in the allotted time of two weeks
barring any extensions, the Goldwater Institute will be
out in full force to get as many of those as possible.

And that’s a problem. A “taxpayer watchdog,” as the
organization proclaims itself to be, has shady dealings.
It has conflicts of interest. It has unnamed donors. And
now this organization will be approaching possibly
uninformed Glendale citizens in an attempt to get them to
sign a referendum? For Coyotes fans, that’s about as damn
close as you can come to the zombie apocalypse without any
brains being eaten.

Now, I’m not alleging that there will be any misconduct by
Goldwater, far from it. I’m just saying that, for an
organization who demands a look into each and every action
that the city of Glendale takes — at least as far as the
Coyotes are concerned — they sure aren’t willing to
describe their inner workings or disclose any information.

I shared a few tweets with @patriot1123, whose wicked-cute
Basset Hound avatar told me a private think tank, such as
the Goldwater Institute, should not have to disclose its
donors or other documents. And normally, I’d be right
alongside that view. There is a reason that a company is
private.

But I think, along with tweeters like @doubled81638378, @davidstuart, @Jakita10, @gfallar, @azisles02, that a think tank that
purports to have taxpayer interests at heart should act
like a government institution and not be forced, but
obligated, to disclose some information. It would likely
move things along if we could view some of the alleged
conflicts of interest to dismiss the suit or at least keep
in line with their own demands that the city of Glendale
be transparent.

If it’s actually possible, I’m asking Goldwater to take
the high road here and reveal itself. Become transparent.
Donors shouldn’t need to be “protected,” but named.
Privacy is hurting this deal and the taxpayers of
Glendale. In the short term, some damage will be done as
both sides have likely done things they are not proud of.
In the long run, both the city and Goldwater come out
better for it, the taxpayers benefit and the Coyotes will
probably stay.

But I’m not holding my breath. As a person who kind of
relies on the Coyotes (yes, I do get paid to write), I’m
looking at those hired to get the referendum signatures
like they want nothing more than to eat my brains.

Penguin Air

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Off the Ice: Clearly we need some transparency