September 16, 2010

Sheila Leslie: I believe in transparency, but I don't want to share what I believe

She didn't say those exact words, but, as the Nevada News Bureau reports, that's the takeaway of her comments regarding TransparentNevada's transparency questionnaire of elected officials.

Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, who is running for the Washoe Senate 1 seat, said she supports transparency in government but is not responding to the survey because of her view that the NPRI has a clear political bias and a response would give the group undeserved credibility.

"I’m accountable to the voters, I’m not accountable to a conservative think tank," she said. "It gives them a credibility that I don’t think they deserve. But I’m happy to respond directly to my constituents and certainly do support transparency in government."

Oh the irony. It seems like if you really believed in transparency, you'd also be transparent in sharing your beliefs on transparency. And for the record all TransparentNevada did was ask the questions and report the candidates' answers, including comments.

It's too bad as well, because transparency isn't a partisan issue and neither is letting voters know what you believe. In TransparentNevada's transparency questionnaire numerous candidates from all parties informed voters on where they stood on a variety of transparency issues. Voters will now get to make a more educated decision about those candidates.

On a national level transparency has brought natural rivals together. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) — a liberal Democrat and a conservative Republican, respectively — teamed up for the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 which led to the creation of USASpending.gov.

If you are a constituent of Shelia Leslie's and would like to know her opinion on the questions from our transparency survey, you can reach her by email at sheila.leslie@sbcglobal.net or by phone at (775) 333-6564.