Issue Position: Open Government Reform Plan
Open Government Plan:
EXECUTIVE ORDER #1
* SECTION ONE: Adopt a Code of Ethics that applies to all employees in the office of the governor. This order will call for each agency to use the standards set out in the Code of Ethics as the "gold standard" and review any current policies and update them in compliance with the Code of Ethics.
* SECTION TWO: Create North Carolina Accountability Portal
The N.C. Accountability Portal will be a searchable online database that will provide unprecedented transparency to North Carolina taxpayers. This Executive Order will establish this online database to include all expenditures and procurements, state contracts, grants and tax credits. This order will instruct all state agencies to provide this information in a timely manner and in a clear and understandable format
* SECTION THREE: Establish Office of Open Government to assure full and prompt compliance with N.C.'s open government and public record laws and to provide training to executive agencies on accountability and transparency.
The Office of Open Government will be charged with providing the office of the governor and each of the executive agencies with the guidance and tools to serve North Carolina with integrity and transparency. This simply has not happened for the past eight years. The primary functions are to assure full and speedy compliance with open government and public record laws and, to provide training to all executive agencies on accountability, integrity, and transparency. Each agency secretary should designate a person at his or her agency who will act as the agency's public records/open government contact person and will be responsible for all public records requests. Also, this person will be the primary liaison between the agency and the Office of Open Government for training and compliance purposes.
* SECTION FOUR: Accessibility
This section will lay out the new governor's policy regarding accessibility. First, it will instruct all agencies to preserve all email as official documents of the Administration, and will establish guidelines for making the governor's email available to the public. Second, it will lay out a plan for a press conference by the governor at least every two weeks. Third, it will establish guidelines for making public the governor's schedule on a weekly basis.
* SECTION FIVE: Stop Fundraising Abuse
This section will ban campaign fundraising by the governor's appointees to the Department of Transportation Board, the University Board of Governors and the ABC Board.
LEGISLATIVE REFORM AGENDA
As governor, Pat McCrory would call on the General Assembly to consider the following legislative agenda in the 2009 Session:
PART ONE: N.C. Accountability Portal
The General Assembly will be asked to codify the N.C. Accountability Portal established in Executive Order #1.
PART TWO: State Ethics Reform
* Strengthen criminal penalties for ethics violations by state officials
* Instruct the Ethics Commission to refer violations to the Wake County District Attorney and the Attorney General
* Authorize the Wake County District Attorney and the Attorney General to empanel a grand jury to investigate ethics violations and conflicts of interest.
* Establish a crime for lying to a State Bureau of Investigation agent
PART THREE: Modernize Board of Elections
* Enhance donor search capabilities to enable 24 hour online reporting
* Weekly, instead of quarterly, internet reports for campaigns detailing donor information
PART FOUR: State Employee Protection
* This initiative would ban contributions from state employees to state candidates to protect state employees from coercion from politicians like Beverly Perdue
* Example: A 1997 letter to then State Auditor Ralph Campbell by Democracy South, John Locke Foundation, N.C. Alliance for Transportation Reform and N.C. Alliance for Democracy detailed examples of state employees being coerced into making campaign contributions to state politicians. "A Ferry Division employee laughingly told Democracy South that he made a political donation because, "It was required at the Ferry Division. Hey tell you, Beverly Perdue is going to be doing such-and-such [fundraiser] and you need to go. It cost you $100 so send the money. Or it's like: You like working here? Yeah. Well, don't forget to go to Beverly Perdue's thing.'"
PART FIVE: No Campaign Fundraising by Transportation, University or ABC Board Members
* The General Assembly will be asked to codify the governor's ban on campaign fundraising by members of the Department of Transportation Board, the University Board of Governors and the ABC Board.
* Example: Tom Betts, Louis Sewell, Lanny Wilson, etc.
PART SIX: Earmark Reform
* Place tax and spending bills on the internet for public review at least 72 hours before consideration by the General Assembly.
* Require all appropriation funds to be itemized, made available on the internet, and include the name of the member who made the funding request
NOTE: McCrory has pledged to veto any budget with items added in private sessions and not included by the House or Senate during the regular budget process.
PART SEVEN: Legislative Conflict of Interest
* Ban legislators from soliciting lobbyists and lobbyist principals for charitable contributions
* Require legislators to state during debate either in committee or on the floor their specific conflict with the proposed legislation