Cambensy, Benson correct in trying to improve trust in government

We like the motivation driving a pair of state officials who hosted a town hall meeting in the Peter White Public Library in Marquette — transparency in government and the improved trust in government that transparency will engender.

State Rep. Sara Cambensy and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson were the officials who hosted the session Wednesday, drawing a good crowd who came with a lot of questions.

On substance, the pair talked a lot about redistricting.

“As your representative will tell you, the way in which your districts are drawn can determine the outcome of a particular election,” Benson said in a Mining Journal story on the matter. “In fact, that’s what’s happened over the years where you had efforts in Lansing of the people to either preserve partisan advantages … or to preserve their own political power. And when I started by talking about how important it is that you are all heard in Lansing, this is one of the examples.”

Cambensy addressed legislation that’s been introduced to extend the Freedom of Information Act to the Legislature and the executive branch.

“We’ve already heard that they have issues with several bills,” Cambensy said in the Journal story. “This is where, like the secretary of state said, we have a lot of relationship building to do. Our majority leader in the Senate has said that he does not like how open our legislative communications are under this bill.”

We have a couple of observations about how people regard their elected government, in general, and what Benson and Cambensy are doing, in particular.

If one can believe polls, trust in government is currently near all-time lows. The partisan backbiting and rivers of bile turn a lot of people completely off. Others are left cynical and still others have turned their backs completely on the process.

We applaud Benson and Cambensy, and anyone else, for that matter, who tries to make positive changes in this appalling situation. It may not fix everything but it is at least a step in the right direction.