One of the most frustrating things about trying to understand community issues like the El Paso Children’s Hospital is all of the secrecy that surrounds it. Although courtrooms are supposed to be open, there are many times when “protective orders” are issued to keep certain things behind closed doors. The court has already issued a protective order in this case. Many times the court documents, such as depositions, are expensive to acquire. Other times, the documents, such as an original copy of the Kurt Salmon Study, are conveniently unavailable. The community is left to depend on an incompetent news media or the public relations spokesperson of the parties wanting to frame the public debate in their favor in order to understand the various issues.
I have been collecting as many of the original source documents as I can regarding the El Paso Children’s Hospital. I filed an open records request through children’s asking for information only to be told that it is a private entity not subject to the Texas Public Information Act. Although taxpayers paid for the building, the taxpayers are not allowed to ask for documents. I went so far as to ask the County Attorney’s office to intervene on my request only to be completely ignored. I did not even receive a courtesy reply telling me that they received my fax request.
Nonetheless, I have been able to collect some documents. Starting today, I am going to start making them available to you through Social Unwind, an online social media project.
The first batch are the court depositions of various officials, including Stephen DeGroat, UMC’s Board of Managers chair. I am also adding Jim Valenti’s deposition as well as Mark Herber’s, among others. You can access them by visiting this link.
I had previously discussed my thoughts (El Paso Children’s Hospital Debtor’s Plan) I had about how to share original source documents with you while avoiding the abuse from some of those who use my material and how to pay for the associated costs. I have decided on the following course of action.
Because of some very generous supporters of my blog who made donations to cover some of the costs, I have decided to make my entire archive of original source materials for the El Paso Children’s Hospital available to everyone. I will be adding to archive in the coming days. If you want to be notified when I add new documents, you can create an account if you like on Social Unwind and select to be notified when I post the new documents. You do not need an account to read the documents I openly publish.
In addition, I have decided to create two groups on Social Unwind.
The first is for those individuals that have made a donation to my blogging activities. This group will have exclusive access to other original source documents before anyone else. I will periodically make select documents and other goodies available to those who have supported my blog. There will be two types of documents, those that will eventually be shared with everyone, however blog supporters will get to see them first, There will also be those documents that will remain exclusively for members only.
If you haven’t already made small donation to my blog and want to be a member of the first-look group, you can make one by following this link.
Those of you that have supported my blog in the past will get a personal email from me letting you know how to join the group. It may take a few days for me to contact you so please be patient with me.
In the meantime, keep your eyes open on the El Paso Children’s Hospital issue. There are too many things going on behind closed doors. The bottom line is that the taxpayers need to pay for this debacle and the politicians are looking for ways to make you pay for it under the radar.