Start spreadin the news

    Here’s to tough-as-nails prosecutor Risa Vetri Ferman, the Montgomery County District Attorney who’s running a grand jury investigation into the apparent violation of the state sunshine law by two county commissioners, Joe Hoeffel and Jim Matthews.

    If you’ve missed the Breakfastgate scandal, check out the Times Herald of Norristown, whose reporters started the whole thing by staking out the Jem Restaurant and overhearing the pair talking county business.

    In my radio piece today, Terry Mutchler, the state’s chief open records official explains why sunshine law violations are so routinely ignored, and why three-member county commissions present a particular challenge to fairly enforcing it.

    I won’t pre-judge the facts in Montgomery County, but I’ve seen so many boards and commissions violate the sunshine law that I’m flat out giddy to see a prosecutor taking it seriously.

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    I just hope news of this spreads far and wide, so politicians everywhere will think twice about cutting deals in private. Nobody will go to jail here, but an investigation like this is embarrassing, expensive, and decidedly un-helpful to anybody’s political ambitions.

    A couple more of these, and things could change.

    For a laugh, check out this video of an imagined conversation outside the Jem Restaurant, which I saw on the blog, Pa Water Cooler.

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