California sees itself as a place that embraces open government. And there’s no doubt that we’ve tried to legislate our way to greater transparency. But Zócalo Public Square columnist Joe Mathews says the result is an unruly thicket of rules and regulations that impede good government and expand the influence of private interests like developers and labor unions. Where did we go wrong? Mathews says we should look at the German port city of Hamburg, where extreme government transparency is a way of life. It’s not so complicated, really. The Hamburgers just put everything online.
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