Episode 74: It’s Your Money Government’s Spending – Transparency Matters

Michael Schaus

Free to Offend Episode 74 | Guests: Todd Maddison, Transparent California

If there’s one area of public policy that generates significant bipartisan support among activists and ordinary citizens, it’s transparency in government.

Todd Maddison from Transparent California joined the program to discuss why transparency is so crucial to ensuring better government – regardless of one’s political inclinations.

Read the Transcript

Todd Maddison: Yeah, I mean, I’m not aware of anyone that in public employment that took a hit because of Covid. I mean, inevitably they continued to be paid or were, you know, either working remotely or actually working.

Michael Schaus: This is Free to Offend. I’m your host, Michael Schaus. Happy Sunshine Week. Yeah. And that’s not just me being pleasant like, “oh, sunshine.” No, this is Sunshine Week, an important week. It’s a week where we try to raise awareness for government transparency or transparency in government.

It’s one of those issues, one of those rare policy issues where when you look at the grassroots, when you look at voters, when you look at activist organizations, there’s broad bipartisan support for increasing transparency in government. Everybody from the ACLU to obviously Nevada Policy Research Institute, I mean, you name it.

And yet, it’s still a real uphill battle. Hmm. Why is that? It could be because the people in government don’t always want you to know exactly what they’re doing, particularly with your tax dollars. That’s one of the reasons why I’m very happy to welcome Todd Madison with Transparent California.

Transparent California. Transparent Nevada. Nevada Policy runs both of those websites. They’re fantastic websites and I love them because, it’s just this very, very simple website that’s kind of a simple idea. It posts the public pay of our public servants, and this is something that really government should be doing.

But of course, like anything when it comes to transparency in government, you have to, you know, bring them along, kicking and screaming. So, Todd, thank you so much for joining us.

Todd Maddison: Oh, thank you. Michael.

Michael Schaus: Before we get talking specifically about Transparent California, I know we’ve had you on the program, you know, a couple of times, but for those who don’t know, how did you end up working Transparent California?

This little website run by a nonprofit think tank in Nevada. I mean, how seems like a weird place to be. How did you get here? How’d you get interested in transparency in government?

Todd Maddison: Sure, sure. So, I became an activist in my local school district sometime in the early 2010s. You know, before that my wife was heavily involved. I mean, she was the PTO president. She was, you know, involved in, in various things in the schools.

I was out there working, I was, you know, chasing the buffalo six days a week, 12 hours a day. I didn’t really have time for this. And then all of a sudden, I found myself with a little bit of time and I dug into the budget of the school district.

We had just raised taxes. State of California passed Proposition 30 in 2012, which raised the sales tax in part, at least in theory, to fund better education. And I wasn’t seeing that happening. So, I decided, okay, well I’m a financial guy, so I’m going to take a look at this and I’m going to see where is that money going.

And what I found out is that most of that money is going to pay and benefits for existing employees. They weren’t adding teachers, they weren’t raising the starting pay to attract better teachers. They weren’t doing any of that. They were basically just giving themselves raises with this additional tax money.

So, I started digging into that. That led to Transparent California, of course. I started downloading data sets and looking at them, ended up with a question. I thought, okay, what? There’s something going on here in Oceanside Unified, my home district.

So I emailed Transparent California and said, what about this? And the director at the time, Robert Fellner, got back to me and said, “Well, you know, if you think you can help with this, how about if you join us?” And so that’s how I ended up with Transparent California.

Michael Schaus: And, and it is such a great simple idea. The website, Transparent California. I mean, you know, this of course is Sunshine Week and we’re talking about transparency in government.

And it seems like the most basic level of transparency, if we’re going to be spending a bunch of money, whether that’s on a school district, a police department, a fire department, I mean, you name it, one of the biggest costs that that agency is going to have is going to be personnel costs. So, we should know how much we’re actually paying some folks.

Over the last you know, year, two years as you’ve been gathering information for Transparent California and compiling this data, what are some of the examples that you see? People probably have no idea how much some of their public servants get paid. What are some of the ones that really stand out to you?

Todd Maddison: Oh, sure, sure. To back up just a second though, when it comes to knowing what our employees are paying are being paid, I can tell you that I run into that all the time. I get complaints at the Transparent California email address. You know, why do you have the right to understand what I make?

What I tell people is that the boss always knows what you make. You know, in any company you, you belong to the person who signs the check, knows what you make.

So in in public employment, we sign the check. I am responsible for paying everyone in Transparent California database in one way or another. And so of course we deserve to know what they make. So that’s typically how that goes in that. But we owe it to the public to know what we’re paying for.

Michael Schaus: So, part and, and before we get to the examples though just to build off of that a little bit, one of the things that jumps out at me, What we’re told a lot of the times by critics is, okay, well look, you don’t need to know exactly how much this schoolteacher is actually making. We can post starting schoolteachers make $45,000 a year in this school district.

The problem with that though is we’ve seen repeatedly that that’s not really enough information. I’m thinking specifically about like firefighters and, and police officers where they’re starting pay might be 65,000, but you start adding in a bunch of benefits. You start adding in overtime and the way that they’re structuring their schedules and stuff and all of a sudden you got somebody making hundred and something thousand dollars a year.

As the people that are footing that bill, we need to have access to that so that way we know that our dollars are actually being spent where it should be without any sort of crazy corruption or anything else.

Todd Maddison: Certainly, you know, back to my K-12 activist side, you know, I frequently get involved in local conversations about bonus raises. You know, the unions will come, and they will ask for a bonus raise, which means a raise in addition to their normal annual scheduled raises. And they will say, of course, that we’re underpaid.

So, I will go, and I will speak at those meetings, and I will talk to parents. And parents will get up and they will say, these poor teachers, poor underpaid teachers, you know, they barely make 40 or $50,000 a year. You know, how could you possibly deny them this extra raise?

So, I will actually talk to those parents often when they come down off the podium and I’ll ask them. I’ve taken surveys forever from anecdotal surveys, from parents about how much do you think teachers make. They inevitably quote the starting rate, you know, they quote the 40, 50, $60,000 a year, whatever the starting rate is.

When I tell them that, for example, in Oceanside, the median total compensation of a teacher in 2021 was $122,560. They’re shocked.

Michael Schaus: That is shocking.

Todd Maddison: And when I say, okay, the district is proposing giving people who make $122,000 an extra raise above and beyond their normal scheduled raise that year. And they’re going to cut busing for poor kids. They’re going to cut gate programs. They’re going to cut programs that help low-income families. You know, 63% of Oceanside qualifies for free lunch, which means they make less than $32,000 a year for a family of 4.

But yet they’re going to give the people who make 122,000, or the superintendent who makes 350,000, a 5% raise on top of whatever they’re scheduled to get that year anyway. And that changes their perspective.

You know, they look at it immediately and they say, “So they’re going to cut from my kid’s education to give themselves another $5,000 a year on top of what they already make.” Is that right? Does that seem right? And that’s the kind of information we need to get out there.

Michael Schaus: Well, and I’ll tell you, even public sector employees can benefit from this. I mean, I’m thinking specifically about Clark County School District where there’s a teacher shortage in Clark County here in Las Vegas.

And for good reason, nobody wants to work at the district. But these teachers are going through really tough times. They’re going through very, very difficult situations and you know, the culture out there and everything else. And meanwhile you’ve got the superintendent who has been driving the district into the ground makes half a million dollars.

And when you put that out there, and he recently just got more money by the way. He just got another, you know, bonus. And most people are looking around saying, okay, I get that a CEO of a large organization should make money, but he’s making half a million dollars while this is going on in the district. This isn’t right.”

And that’s coming from teachers in the district saying, “Well, wait a minute. How come I’m suffering and this guy’s making all this money when he’s really clearly not doing his job?”

Todd Maddison: Sure. No, teachers need to look at that as well. Here in California, there’s a gentleman named James Hammond. He’s the superintendent of the Ontario Montclair School District.

He pays himself $750,000 a year. 83% of the families in Ontario, Montclair qualify for free lunch. And so, you know, is the school district seriously going to tell us that there’s no better use for that money?

But fundamentally, to your point of, of the CEO should make good money, I totally agree with that. I’ve been the CEO of company, and I can tell you that for the size of the budget of our school districts, the superintendents are fairly paid, maybe underpaid in some cases.

The fundamental problem though is that there’s no connection between performance and pay in schooling or in any public entity. In private industry, you know, I actually design compensation programs. And I can tell you that every single person in private industry who makes 200, 250, $300,000 a year has some component of their pay tied to performance.

They have a bonus program. They have metrics. They have goals. They have some way that they’re not going to make that much money unless they actually do something to improve the performance of the company. In schools not so much. You know, there is no school district I know of that ties its superintendent pay to actually improving education, which is just crazy.

It’s the most important thing in our lives we all say, but we don’t actually incentivize the people in charge to make it better.

Michael Schaus: Yeah. I mean, can you imagine a CEO of a private school district a private school system, say some private school that runs a bunch of schools throughout California and Nevada/

Can you imagine if, I don’t know, 75% of their fourth graders couldn’t read at grade level? Yeah. You think that that president or that principal would, would still be around? It’s wild. And that’s the reason I think why people really need to understand how much folks are actually getting paid in these public sector industries.

Give some examples from California because there are some things that happen. You know, we’ve gotten some press coverage in the past in California and here in Nevada of absolutely mind-blowing examples of people just taking advantage of the public sector. I mean, a ton of money going to folks who clearly are not providing the type of value that you would expect for say a million dollars.

So, give a couple of examples of what you guys have found in the more, more recent data.

Todd Maddison: Sure. Well, in 2021, we’re almost done with 2021. We’re almost completed with the collection for that year. 171 employees in the state of California got over a million dollars in public compensation. Over a million dollars.

So now are they providing value? I mean, I would hope they are, although we have no metric and nothing that actually says that they are. But it seriously seems like something we should look at. Three thousand employees make over 500,000, over a half a million dollars. Three thousand public employees.

You know, the top ranks in the state of California are generally athletic coaches. Charles Kelly, head coach in the UC system, made $5,775,000 last year. Now, you know, there are a lot of people who argue that he brings in revenue that justifies that. I don’t know.

You know, I would like to see, I have two kids in the UC system, and I would like to see them focus on academics myself. But you know, that’s a judgment call from the people who work there and go to school there, parents.

As far as non-sports employees, we’ve got a guy named Jason Roostaeian, who’s the associate clinical professor at the UC system, made 3.4 million last year. Now I know the medical business pays well. You know, I’m happy that doctors get paid well. I like that. But it seems 3.4 million dollars is a little excessive. Seems like when they’re out there talking about raising tuition for the UC system, there might be some places they could look other than parents’ pocketbooks to do that.

Michael Schaus: Especially when you’re talking about culture that we’re in when it comes to higher education, where we’re having discussions about saddling kids with a ton of debt, and people are talking about ways that, you know, we need to make it more affordable and everything you look at the way that this money is spent, you know, this isn’t all just tuition dollars.

These are tax dollars from people that live in California. This is this is a lot of money that could be put to potentially better use to get more people educated or get people a better education.

Todd Maddison: Yeah. And, and other better uses. So public safety, the highest paid public safety employee was a gentleman named Marc Coopwood, Assistant Chief of Police, city of Beverly Hills, $864,903.

So, to me, I look at that and I think about all the talk we hear about needing to raise taxes to put more police on the street. And yes, I’m absolutely for putting more police on the street. You know, we need to fix various problems in the state. And I think, okay, well, if Marc Coopwood was only paid, say, $300,000 a year, would he quit?

And and if we used that extra money to put five or six or seven more policemen on the street, wouldn’t that benefit the people of Beverly Hills a little bit more than paying him almost a million dollars?

Michael Schaus: Well, and how much of that almost million dollars that he earned is a base salary versus various benefits or overtime or something? Because this is something we saw, you know, years and years ago. It was one of the very first big kind of examples of Transparent Nevada being noticed in the state. We talked about firefighters and there was a couple of firehouses where they clearly structured their schedules in such a way as to maximize overtime.

I mean the methods that they were using to schedule people for shifts was not an efficient use of time, and it was deliberately designed to give people a boost in pay well above what their actual base salary was. And, and it was so bad that both Republicans and Democrats started screaming about it and needed reform and we actually got reform.

But I know that that’s a big deal, especially in the public safety area. We see it time and time again. Yeah.

Todd Maddison: Yeah. That, that is a big factor. I don’t have the numbers at hand. I was just looking up this Marc Coopwood. It looks like he had 508,000 in other pay.

Michael Schaus: Yeah. See, that’s mind blowing to me.

Todd Maddison: Yeah. And what, what goes into that? I don’t know. He may have retired and gotten a payout, but overtime pay is historically a problem. You know, I’ve looked at overtime in public safety, particularly firefighters and police, and often the average overtime pay in many municipalities is enough to pay for at least half of another policeman.

Michael Schaus: And that’s another problem. And this is part of the reason why knowing the individual’s pay is so important when you’re talking about the public sector because. If you’re paying a bunch of firefighters, for example, overtime, okay, well you don’t want to have a lack of firefighters because if a fire happens or car crash or something, you need those guys there to help save some lives.

But if you’re paying that much in overtime, it makes more financial sense to say, okay, let’s hire more firefighters and pay them more the base salary because you’ll save money. I mean, anybody who’s run a business understands this. You’d much rather have a couple of extra bodies than pay everybody overtime, because overtime’s going to cost you more.

Todd Maddison: Sure, absolutely. That just makes total sense. I’ve had that debate with our local fire chief here. I can tell you that I would prefer that firefighters not have to work, you know, 40 hours of overtime a week. I mean, it seems to me that when there’s something really important that happens in firefighting, I want a fresh firefighter. I want somebody who hasn’t been on shift for 16 hours already to be responding to that.

Plus the fact that if something really major happens, if you have a wildfire or some of the things that we have happen here, if you can call out twice as many firefighters as a result of that, you know, not only are you benefiting the personal life of the firefighters by letting them go home and attend to their family, but you’re benefiting the people by having more firefighters available.

It just makes. They’ll make an argument that it costs more to have additional firefighters because there’s more equipment, there’s more training, you know, all that stuff. So maybe you wouldn’t get a one-to-one, you know, maybe you’d get half of a new firefighter, you know, for that money. But even half is better than none.

Michael Schaus: So, what’s some of the interaction that you get beyond just the folks who are upset that you’re publishing their salary?

Todd Maddison: Sure. Well, we get a hundred thousand websites or a hundred thousand web hits a month on Transparent California. So, it’s a pretty busy site. 41 million since inception. So, we have a lot of people coming to visit us.

We work pretty closely with media. There are media reports that quote Transparent California almost every day. You know, I keep track of that, and I see our website, our name pops up almost every single day in some way or another. They find things that they wouldn’t have found without it.

You know, we had the city of Fontana in 2020 paid its city manager nearly a million dollars for not working that year. You know, and that was turned up by the media. They had some special sweetheart deal that was approved by the city council to pay him for not working that year.

The city manager of Carson, former city mayor, by working out a sweetheart deal to contract for six months after he left city, he ended up increasing his pension value by 2.5 million. So simply by doing things like that, you know, you see egregious offenses against the public, and it’s the media that turns that up. You know, we provide the data, the media looks into it, and they’re great partners for us.

Michael Schaus: I imagine that there’s probably a story here as well, because a lot of folks, especially in California, where the shutdowns were absolutely outrageous. I always go back to thinking about that one guy that, you know, got arrested because he was paddle boarding by himself in the ocean.

You know, a lot of people were not able to earn an income for a very large chunk of 2020 and 2021. You know, it strikes me that you could probably look at some of the compensation of local government officials and say, “Well, now wait a minute. I was out of work. You made it illegal for me to go to work.” And a lot of these folks didn’t really take any sort of a hit in California. And same here in Nevada.

As we hear the inevitable call for higher taxes in order to, you know, fund more public services, this’ll probably become a very important tool for folks who are still suffering from the effects of those draconian shutdowns.

Todd Maddison: Yeah, I mean, I’m not aware of anyone that in public employment that took a hit because of Covid. I mean, inevitably they continued to be paid or, you know, either working remotely or actually working. I don’t know exactly how that works.

Perhaps there were people at the lower ranks that ended up getting furloughed in some way. But I know of no one.

And particularly egregious in the schools. Again, one of my focuses, you can see that all through 2021 and 2022 school districts have been giving themselves bonus raises because they give themselves $2,000, $3,000 and extra 4%, whatever the number is because they’re just flushing in cash.

They’re taking all the Covid money and spreading it out amongst themselves, you know, giving themselves raises with it. And using that to not only, you know, fill up for the money that was used during Covid, but to give themselves additional money. So, it’s not being used for the purpose that we had for it to begin with.

Michael Schaus: I’ve had some talks with a couple of teachers, too and you know, they’ve pointed out to me, they go, “Hey, we didn’t see the Covid money.” I don’t know how it is in, in California, because I’m sure that the rules are a little bit different. But out here in Nevada, you know, a lot of the teachers, they haven’t really seen type of bump that you’ve seen say in administration.

And going to someplace like Transparent California or Transparent Nevada, you get to see just how much money is actually being spent on administration, the bureaucratic part of education. So even if you are very concerned about teacher salaries or what have you, take a look and see, okay, where else is a lot of this money going? Do we really need six administrators in this school?

Todd Maddison: Yeah. The median total compensation of an administer here in the state of California is around $160,000 a year. So certainly, those people don’t come cheap. And typically, it represents about six to 10% of any district’s budget administration.

Michael Schaus: That’s an incredible chunk of money.

Todd Maddison: Yeah. Yeah. Given the budgets are hundreds of millions of dollars in many cases.

Michael Schaus: So, you guys are coming out with the 2021 numbers. You guys almost have all that wrapped up. How difficult is it to actually get this information from government? Because, I mean, I kind of sympathize with the visceral reaction that a lot of public sector employees might have, “Hey, why are you publishing my information?”

I also know that government in general, just kind of the bureaucratic nature of government trying to get information from them, i9t seems like their first impulse is almost always, “No, I’m not going to give that to you.” And then, you know, we end up having to sue or something. Obviously Transparent California has been around long enough that I’m sure a lot of folks know they kind of have to comply. But what has your experience been getting this most recent set of data from 2021?

Todd Maddison: Well, unfortunately, as valuable as the public record act, is in California, it has loopholes. Of course, it was designed by government, probably loopholes built on purpose to allow them to some wiggle room there.

So most significantly there is no personal responsibility. And there is no penalty for not responding. So, we can ask. There are requirements for response times. They have to give us data if it exists. So, there’s a lot of good things.

But on the other hand, if they choose to not reply for a certain period of time or not reply at all, it ends up eventually becoming a lawsuit. And in that case if it becomes a lawsuit, all we can sue for is costs. There is no penalty involved. There’s no personal responsibility.

In most cases, I can tell you that that people respond fairly readily. I mean, we’ve been doing this for quite a while. You know, I stand in the footsteps of giants when it comes to having established all this.

Robert Fellner, our former executive director, did an awesome job of getting everybody in line and getting them understanding that this is not something that’s going to go away. That’s what I’ve continued. We have a group of a couple of interns that help with this, Shaq and Jay. They do an awesome job, but it’s a very small operation.

So, you know, most agencies respond and respond relatively quickly, but frequently it requires repetitive updates, repetitive requests over and over and over again. We go and ask. And then occasionally they just decline. We have several entities right now that we’re in the process of developing lawsuits against because they haven’t responded to 2021 data requests.

So, we inevitably have to pursue it to that level at least for a few agencies every year, and we’re working on that right now. I’m developing the list of who we’re going to end up filing suit against to get the data that we need.

Michael Schaus: This is something that we’ve talked about before in Nevada, and I’m sure that it’s been discussed in California as well. And it’s something I really think needs to become a standard just throughout the nation.

You mentioned personal responsibility, and this is one of the frustrating things about government. Whether you’re trying to get salary information or you’re trying to find information. The Black Lives Matter activist, for example, ran into this a lot when they were trying to find information on certain arrests from the police department and stuff.

If you go to a government agency, say school, police, department, whatever, and you ask for some information and they say no. Even if you are, absolutely do that information, really your only recourse is go ahead and as you say, sue. And you can sue for the cost. But what happens is even if there are penalties on that for the agency, taxpayers bear that burden.

Yeah. And you’re talking about an agency that has, you know, very deep pockets because they can dive into all of our pockets. It becomes a really frustrating situation where even when you put penalties on the agency, they’ll still fight because it’s not their money.

Something that’s been discussed before, and I think it’s been implemented in a couple places throughout the nation, is actually attaching criminal penalties to the government actors, the actual bureaucrats who say no to a legal request.

And I really like that idea simply because in my life, if I violate a law of some sort, I have to pay personally. It’s not just, you know, some organization. Is that something that’s been discussed in California? Like I said, I know it’s been discussed here in Nevada saying, all right, let’s put actual penalties, you know, financial penalties on the individual government actors who violate people, violate the open records law. Is that something that’s been discussed in California?

Todd Maddison: No, no. I mean, with the nature of our government, you know, it’s not something that would ever get any traction. I mean, I don’t know if anybody’s even really tried.

We’ve discussed it a number of times. There’s a lot of media reports. We’ve talked about that. But you’re right, there is no personal responsibility. There are only court costs. There are no penalties at all, as a matter of fact. There are only court costs. And I can tell you that, that those agencies have lawyers on retainer. They have very expensive lawyers on retainer.

So, for them, you know, it’s just a matter of the time that it takes to do that for us. Of course, we actually have to pay for the people that we get to pursue these lawsuits.

You know, one of, one of the funnier things, we had a suit against the city the city of Parley, a small city back about a year or so ago. It turns out that the person responsible for denying the public records request is the same person who makes money defending the lawsuit we ended up having.

So, we filed a lawsuit. They gave in. They settled and we got our data plus the court costs. So, you know, in the end, it was a wasted excuse.

Michael Schaus: It feels that feels like something that people ought to know, that somebody was making money off literally denying legal requests.

Todd Maddison: Yeah. The city of Compton is in deep financial trouble. They’re actually on some kind of a watch now for bankruptcy. They have a county administer or a state administrator of some sort. So, they denied our request last year. We ended up suing them. In the end, it cost them $7,500 to give us the data that we asked for to. Once we filed a lawsuit, they gave us the data. And the only difference is that it cost them $7,500 to do that.

So, it’s ridiculous that a city like Compton, which is not the wealthiest city on the face of the earth and already in financial trouble, would not just have given us the data to begin with.

Michael Schaus: Well, and this is one of the reasons why really strong transparency laws are so important, regardless of how you might feel about Transparent California or Transparent Nevada or something governments. And it’s the same thing when you start talking about, you know, certain criminal justice issues like civil asset forfeiture or something.

Government’s got very deep pockets. And even if they’re in financial trouble, they can dive into everybody else’s pockets. So, when you’re trying to force them to do something in the legal system, it’s not just having to worry about the legal system. A lot of the times you’ll have governments say, “Look, we can outspend you. We can fight you for longer than you’re going to be able to afford to fight us.”

And it’s a really frustrating thing and it’s one of the reasons why transparency in general is a very bipartisan concern. You’ve got the ACLU, you’ve got Nevada Policy Research Institute, you’ve got, you know, libertarians and conservatives and even socialists.

Todd Maddison: Yeah. Most of the public records requests, I’m sure are just individual people, you know, and they’re just individual taxpayers, individual parents, you know. They’re just people who are looking for data.

And so, for those people, even to come up with, you know, $7,000 for a lawsuit is impossible. You can’t do that. So, often we see people who’ve had public records requests denied just give up. You know, even if a year later they might win, they’ve still got to come up with thousands of dollars. And it’s questionable, you know, the court system being what it is, they could lose as well. So, you know, it’s really a fundamental problem with transparency in our government.

Michael Schaus: If people want to keep up with what’s going on at Transparent California, where can they go?

Todd Maddison: They can go to transparentcalifornia.com. It’s that simple. Transparentcalifornia.com. You can send us an email if you have any questions.

We are about to launch a feature that allows you to sponsor an agency. So, one of our issues with this is making sure that we’re funded well enough so that we can actually collect that data.

We collect almost 3000 agency data sets every year. It’s a big job. It takes a lot of work. The more money that we can put into it, you know. The average donation to Transparent California last year was $48, so we’re hardly flushed with cash on this.

But if you have a particular agency that you want to collect that – a certain water agency or a public utility, or a city, or a county- you’re going to be able to click a sponsor link and you’re going to be able to donate some money that will be specifically devoted to that agency, and that will be prioritized.

What’ll happen is as a result of that, that will go first on the list. So, if there’s really an agency, you have an interest in the best way you can do it is to sponsor that agency. And then we’ll put it on our priority list, and you’ll get the data as soon as we can get it from them.

Michael Schaus: Yeah, that’s a fantastic idea. And you know, it really is worth just reminding folks, unfortunately, none of this is free. This is one of those things that we have to fight for, and we have to really work hard to get, because government’s not going to do it on its own.

So definitely check out Transparent California. Check out Transparent Nevada. Make a donation. Help you guys keep doing the good work. Todd, thank you so much for joining the program.

Todd Maddison: Oh, thank you very much, Michael. I appreciate it.

Michael Schaus: Again, Todd Madison with Transparent California.

Definitely check out Transparent California. Even if you live in Nevada, it’s worth checking out because you get to see they’ve got a wonderful blog over there and they highlight a lot of these stories and a lot of the types of things that we’re talking about. So definitely check it out.

Transparentcalifornia.com. You can check out Transparent Nevada as well if you want to see what’s going on in your own backyard if you live here in the Silver State.

Also, while you’re at your computer, go to Nevadapolicy.org/podcast. Not only can you sign up for the podcast so it magically appears in your inbox as soon as it’s ready to be listened to, but you can also reach out to us and let us know whether there are any guests or specific topics that you think we ought to have on the show. Again, Nevadapolicy.org/podcast. Thank you so much for listening. This has been Free to Offend.

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 Free to Offend:
A podcast that radically defends free speech by regularly practicing it.

Produced by Nevada Policy Research Institute,
featuring Nevada Policy’s Michael Schaus.