OK

And he's not even the AG (Attorney General) of your state.

At first, when I got (the first) weekly newsletter from Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, where I haven't lived for 55 years, I thought perhaps DFA (Democracy for America) was sharing its list with the newest Democratic star. Or, perhaps Emily's list was up to its usual tricks -- targeting women on behalf of political candidates that might be even slightly sympathetic.

But no, there's innovation in the air. Schneiderman's got a "communications management outfit" dubbed "GovDelivery"

Let's see if a Youtube to introduce it will embed.

Ah, it works, but only because I'd saved the old embed code and coppied the URL into it. You see, it turns out Delivery.gov is a Youtube service, so, of course, the promotional videos touting their successes are going to be in the iframe shorthand so old fogies will have to visit Youtube to get a look.

If you want to go to the site and experience their offerings
http://www.youtube.com/...

There's also a neat little promo here done by the person who illustrates while she talks to explain the concept of Digital Communications Management.

What I wonder, now that I know my Youtube account set me up for email from the Attorney General, is to what extent "communication" is just another word for propaganda. The whole enterprise seems like a very one-way endeavor, only slightly less annoying than the robo calls after I've gone to sleep that there's a person missing in the next town and then calling again to let me know he's been found.
What I conclude is that all over the country we've got agents of law enforcement who either don't have enough to do (like the nuke guys sitting in their silos in North Dakota), or are tired of the old routine and so the dream up new ways to annoy.

Back in the eighties, the prevalent theme was government as a two-way street. Public hearings and lots of agendas in the back of the room were supposed to satisfy the then new expectations about public meetings and public records and open government. Open government has since been "transparency." Citizens are invited to look, as "through a glass darkly," and listen and only speak when they are spoken to. It's a compromise. Citizens telling public officials what they want or, God forbid, filing a formal complaint is simply not welcome. Maybe it's just a matter of complaints interfering with the normal flow of the bureaucratic day.

If you're wondering what Schneiderman had to report, it's quite short:

1) For MLK Day he issued a statement and spoke at a rally.
2) He settled a suit against payday lender Western Sky for $1.5 million and a promise to collect no more interest on loans.
3) He collected a $160,000 fine from a beverage company that failed to forward the bottle deposit to the state.

Actually, the whole communication is rather pityful and I sincerely hope it doesn't signal an intent to spring for higher office. 'Cause I'm really down on prosecutors moving into governors' mansions (Christie, McDonnell) or seats in the U.S. Senate (Chiesa, Ayotte).

But, the main question I have at the moment is are those communications from our public servants via GovDelivery.com a searchable public record (paid out of public appropriations), or is this another strategy for hiding in full view?

Oh, and because everyone communicates about the weather, a convenient source of threat, there's this helpful piece of advice

In advance of winter storm Janus this past Tuesday, Attorney General Schneiderman warned impacted New Yorkers to be aware of price gouging and asked that they report any unnecessary increases of the cost of essentials to his office.
The links, which I have not included, go to GovDelivery.
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.