Hodge replies to JCCC’s Calaway
Benjamin Hodge, a member of the Johnson County Community College board of trustees, came under fire this week for releasing a copy of budget reductions under consideration for next year.
Benjamin HodgeBenjamin HodgeThe list of more than 50 items was given to the board of trustees recently during an executive session that was called under a personnel exemption in the Kansas Open Meeting Law.
Hodge’s release of the list to a reporter for Prime Buzz drew a sharp rebuke from Terry Calaway, the college’s president.
Here is Hodge’s response:
“Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor.”– US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the 5-4 majority in the June 2007 decision FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, which declared unconstitutional a portion of the federal law known as “McCain-Feingold”
There is a law called the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA).
One premise for KOMA is that it is more important to protect citizens from government than it is to protect government from its citizens. If one side should be on the defensive, it should be government: Government should fear its citizens, not the other way around. Another premise for KOMA is that humans are flawed and easily corruptible; we are at our best when held accountable. (more…)