Transparency is a big deal, especially in government, in media and in media covering government.
While campaigning for Governor, Roy Cooper made the promise that, “I will provide public records in a timely fashion.”
We’ve included that statement in our promise tracker for the Governor. What we’ve found over the past month is that the Governor is not living up to that promise.
His staff has earned him his first broken promise in a rather ugly way. I’ll explain.
Over the course of a month, I contacted the Governor’s press office 11 times over four different mediums. I have yet to even receive an acknowledgement of my messages.
The first time, I used the contact form on the Governor’s website. No response. Not even a confirmation email my request was received.
Three times I tried to get a hold of someone — anyone — by phone. I left a detailed message the first time around with all of my return contact information. No call back.
Four times I emailed the official email address for the press office (firstname.lastname@example.org) alleged contact, Ford Porter. Was there a single reply? Even an acknowledgement my email was received? No.
When I heard Sadie Weiner was tapped for Communications for the Governor, I tried tweeting to her several times to see if anyone actually worked at the governor’s press office.
— A.P. Dillon (@APDillon_) February 7, 2017
— A.P. Dillon (@APDillon_) February 13, 2017
Did I get a single reply from Ms. Weiner? No. Not a single response from the Governor’s office of any kind in any medium.
I asked around. No one else seems to be having this transparency issue. So is the Governor’s office purposefully ignoring me or American Lens? It seems like it.
Had this been Governor McCrory not responding to media, it is with all certainty that the rest of media in the state would have hammered him 24/7. In fact, when McCrory’s staff removed a Policy Watch reporter from a meeting, the blow back was immediate.
This is not just a broken promise on transparency, this is highly unprofessional, not to mention disappointing and unethical. Maybe writing about it will get the Governor’s office to answer their phone or emails from media going forward.