Strange bedfellows

Originally published in the Gazette

MPPI in the News Alan Brody | Gazette Staff Writer Nov 19, 2010

It's not often the Maryland Public Policy Institute and the Maryland Budget & Tax Policy Institute are on the same side of an issue.

But the two groups will come together when MPPI convenes a policy forum next month on government transparency.

"Obviously, on other issues — health care and tax and budget issues and education — we have very strong and different views on them," said Christopher Summers, MPPI's president. "I think it's healthy that when you do find common ground on an issue to work together to find better policy solutions."

Speakers at the Dec. 8 event include Republican Warren Miller and Democrat Heather Mizeur, who have both championed transparency legislation in recent years, Kati Siconolfi, legislative assistant for the right-leaning American Legislative Exchange Council, and James Browning, director of the Mid-Atlantic region of open government advocate Common Cause

"We have different ideas of how we would use greater transparency, but I think we all agree that sunshine is the greatest antiseptic," said Neil Bergsman, director of the Budget & Tax Policy Institute.

Summers noted transparency isn't the only high-profile issue on which both groups find common ground, pointing to their shared concern for pension reform.

Is this the beginning of a beautiful relationship?