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Potomac News: Let the sun shine in!

Let the sun shine in!

Published: March 16, 2008

As the song goes, "Let the sun shine, let the sun shine in."

That is what this week is all about. March 16 through 22 is Sunshine Week.

This is a time when groups across the country try to start a conversation with the community about how important it is to have freedom of information and open government.

And so, let us begin that conversation with you, now.

Olga Hernandez: Why does GA Partially Shield the Sunlight?

Why Does GA Partially Shield The Sunlight?

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 - 12:05 AM
CENTREVILLE Virginia sunshine is beautiful, but it doesn't reach every corner of Capitol Square. Energy is needed to get our General Assembly operating entirely in a transparent light.

Megan Rhyne: FOIA is not a partisan issue

Megan Rhyne
Rhyne is associate director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.

Maria Everett: where is the balance between the privacy and government transparency?
Striking Public-Private Balance Is a Challenge
Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 - 12:05 AM

Raleigh News & Observer: Poll of N.C. political candidates finds support for less secrecy

Poll finds support for less secrecy

A majority of North Carolina's statewide political candidates say government agencies that illegally withhold public records should have to pay the legal fees of citizens or media organizations who sue to get the records, a new survey of the candidates shows.
More than 70 percent of the candidates surveyed said they favor the proposed change in state law as a way to promote open government across the state.

Richmond Times Dispatch: Freedom of Information exemptions

Freedom of Information exemptions
Monday, Mar 17, 2008 - 12:09 AM

Virginia's FOI Act exempts working papers and correspondence of the governor from public disclosure but allows the governor to release the material at his discretion, said Alan Gernhardt, staff attorney for the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council.

Gordon Hickey, a spokesman for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, said Friday that Kaine uses e-mail.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Governments limit e-mail accessibility

Governments limit e-mail accessibility
States' rules let them decide which ones they will turn over
Monday, Mar 17, 2008 - 12:09 AM Updated: 03:15 PM
While e-mail and text messaging are hugely popular ways to communicate, governments at all levels are often unwilling to let the public see the e-mails of elected officials.

Washington Examiner: Audit: Bush Barely Trims FOIA Backlog


Audit: Bush Barely Trims FOIA Backlog
By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN, The Associated Press
2008-03-16 22:44:05.0
Current rank: # 8,454 of 9,095

Despite ordering improvements more than two years ago, President Bush has barely made a dent in the huge backlog of unanswered requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

The News Virginian: Poll: More people seeing federal government as secretive

Poll: More people seeing federal government as secretive
The Associated Press
News Virginian
Monday, March 17, 2008

Nearly nine in 10 Americans say it’s important to know presidential and congressional candidates’ positions on open government, but three out of four view the federal government as secretive, according to a survey released Sunday.

Gainesville (Fla.) Sun: Shrouded in secrecy

The Gainesville Sun
Mar 16, 2008
Shrouded in secrecy

Sun Washington Bureau

Government information as wide-ranging as the names of people who grow watermelons or olives, tax returns, and the location of endangered plants and large caves is shielded from Americans under at least 140 provisions scattered throughout federal law.


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