Sunshine Week 2022: Government transparency is the key to restoring public trust

This commentary is by Secretary of State Jim Condos and Deputy Secretary of State Chris Winters.

Every year we join with government transparency advocates from around the country to celebrate Sunshine Week, serving as a reminder that a well-functioning government is built upon the public’s right to know. Good government is open government!

state of Vermont

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos

Government transparency, through open meetings and public records access, ensures ‘we the people’ have the tools necessary to verify our government officials are acting in our best interests, and to hold them accountable if we believe they are not.

Over the last several years we have witnessed a growing, politically motivated assault on truth which has fractured public opinion and eroded faith in our government institutions to the lowest it has been since the Nixon era.

“Sunshine is the best disinfectant,” is a transparency rallying cry we have embraced in years past, but looking forward, we believe it is going to take more than just opening the curtains. It’s time to get busy scrubbing the walls and floors and working harder to show the public what we do, how we do it, and to invite their input.

The internet and social media have given us more access to information than ever before, and we can get it faster. But how do we discern fact from fiction? Too often, it can feel like drinking from a fire hose. The positive effect this has is an even greater expectation of transparency by the public. As government officials, we must rise to this new standard.

If we don’t, it will be too easy for the conspiracy theorists to fill in the unknown with new speculation and shout “I told you so.” While we know there is no basis for their outlandish claims, if we close the doors on government work to the public, they will assume the worst of the decisions being made in the dark.

While COVID-19 has placed unique challenges on how to hold open meetings and provide access to public records, largely we have worked to create new ways to ensure access for Vermonters, and it’s imperative we do not stop now when it comes to finding new ways to bring the public in.

Whether we’re talking about elections, government spending, or local debates on town ordinances, I challenge every Vermont government official from dogcatcher to Governor to work as if we had 640,000 Vermonters watching over our shoulders. This challenge extends all the way up to our President.

From our little corner of state government you can find transparency resources on the municipal page of our website, https://sos.vermont.gov. You can also find tools like our election myth v. facts page, campaign finance system, lobbyist database, and handbooks on Vermont’s transparency laws. Stay tuned in the coming week for an announcement on a virtual transparency tour, where we will be providing education and training on Vermont’s transparency laws to all interested Vermonters, from state and municipal public officials to journalists, who play a critical role holding government accountable, and engaged residents who want to know more.

Transparency in government is the only way we can assure Vermonters, and Americans, that our government institutions are truly of, by and for the people. Happy Sunshine Week!

Images courtesy of Public domain and state of Vermont
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9 thoughts on “Sunshine Week 2022: Government transparency is the key to restoring public trust

  1. We did an audit in Bennington and can prove 60-70% fraud and trace it back AT LEAST to 1975! In 2018 we had 322 discrepancies (ERRORS) between the town books and the state books; that alone is enough for a full forensic audit. We released an additional 200+ names of fraudulent voter names and addresses.. so that’s over 500 names in a county of 5,500 people!! When we realized IT WAS THE STATE committing the treasonist CRIMES, we stopped giving the names and it should be noted that those 500 names released were a partial list of litterally the As and half the B’s on the voter participation list. The States answer was to use New England Newspapers and VT DIGGER to defame me and LIE TO YOU… the SOS Condos checked himself and reported that no fraud exists. The LAW and a letter I have from James Condos says he does not have authority or jurisdiction to check even if he wanted, and we would WE want them to check themselves? This always falls back on your local board of civil authority and Select Boards who per their own documents – NEVER LOOKED. THE Bennington BCA used the Digger fake news reports to verify no fraud existed.. they FAILED to look, FAILED to do their job. All documented and much is even on video. We caught Will Senning, the “election director” for James Condos purjuring himself THREE TIMES on the stand in the Brian Judd court case out of Barre, but I guess the complicit media missed that one also. The truth is Vermont does not even handle our own elections; litterally ZERO control. We found the Dominion weighted voting system back in 2018 and the Judd case in Barre revealed our VT elections are actually handled by a company called LHS management systems out of Salem, NH. That’s a “foreign” company and subsidiary of Dominion out of China! True North Reports has a fantastic reporter named Michael Balowski who vested countless hours with me and all our evidence starting back in 2018; but Vermonters never got the story. The good news.. #RICO, Mr. Condos is not resigning this year 🙂 That also is more media coverups and half truths like you are reading in this article. Sad day friends and all these documents and evidence can be found on my social media pages on Facebook, Telegram and Rumble or call True North and tell them you are interested in the Kevin Hoyt stories (we have many scandals). Four years ago I dove into politics and told everyone I was going to arrest and remove y entire town and state.. we are close now. The solid, undisputable EVIDENCE we have provided is enough to remove EVERY ELECTED OFFICIAL+ in Vermont state.

    • I saw the words “Condos / government transparency” and was thinking Kevin will be all over this,,,Thanks !

  2. Hard to see the disingenuousness of these statements Jim. The lockdown has served all of you in your corporate for profit positions in our nonrepublic to initiate secrecy on every level.

    https://rumble.com/embed/vty47k/ Just so you know, We know.

    How foolish you appear here, lying about your desire for ‘transparency’.

  3. Mr. Condos,

    You using the word “transparency” is like a knife in the back to Vermonters.

    The damage that has been done to our state with your urging is disgusting.

    Is this an attempt to convince people that you weren’t a failure as Secretary of State?

    Give us some real transparency!

    We all know VOTER FRAUD took place in the state and across the country…

    Show us the facts…

    Who voted illegally in Vermont elections?

    Time to clean up the voter rolls and address all of the illegal activity taking place..

    Maybe you could explain EIN numbers and how they are
    applied to a company.

    Is an EIN applicable to one business only…or to many businesses at the same time?

    Vermonters need answers to so many questions yet your office ignores the requests for answers.

    Come on Jim the TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE..

  4. Sunshine week? Does that really mean the State continues to ram it up where the sun doesn’t shine?

  5. One thing to say that, but another to actually do it, Mr. Condos. Transparency, you say, and then you want ONLY mail-in ballots! As we see, that is a blow to voter integrity and opens the door for fraud. Politicians sound so concerned about their constituents, but their actions generally take another course.
    How many of State meetings were closed to the public so that you could more easily pass bills without scrutiny? And now if such sensitive officials feel threatened by concerned parents or people who feel betrayed by their legislators and make their voices heard, they want these ‘extremists’ jailed!
    Your idea of transparency is bah-humbug!

    • Kathy .. You got that right. The Vt gov idea of “Transparency,” is for the public to shut up. They feel we do not know anything that we are stupid. Old Condos says “There was no fraud in Vermont. Then how come there are 343,000 registered voters but there were 350,313 votes counted.. tell me where the 13.313 extra votes come from??? Condos wouldn’t answer, just kept saying there was no fraud in Vt’s election.. MMmmm my husband has been dead for 17 yrs and he got a mail-in ballot. Yup no fraud in Vermont. Transparency, in Vt my butt. !!!

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