As a New York City mayoral candidate, Bill de Blasio, like a certain presidential candidate before him, campaigned on the issue of transparency. “Throughout his career, Bill de Blasio has championed ethics reform and more transparency in government, and he will bring this commitment to City Hall as mayor," his website still reads today.
So how's he doing? Well, my friends, his commitment to free and unrestricted media access remains dubious at best, according to a new study published by the Associated Press. To date, the media has been barred from as many as 50 public events since he took office, and that figure is only expected to rise:
An Associated Press analysis of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's (dih BLAH'-zee-ohz) schedule in nearly five months in office shows he has barred the media from more than 50 events and limited access to 30 more. On some days, his entire schedule has been off limits to the press.
All told, more than 20 percent of his scheduled events were closed to the media, including meetings with other government figures.
In fairness, and unlike most politicians, at least de Blasio seems to recognize that he hasn’t quite lived up to his own lofty expectations:
De Blasio says he believes transparency and acknowledges his administration could do better. His spokesman says limits imposed on reporters are largely due to logistics, not secrecy.
That may be. But he’ll likely get no sympathy from his constituents, all of whom were promised more access and transparency at City Hall --- and aren't getting it.