Sunday, March 12, 2006

Privacy vs. openness, continued

Following up on this post, the Star Tribune's reader representative, Kate Parry, lays out the case for preserving public access to government information.

A pitch-perfect quote from Thomas Ellington, a political science professor at Wesleyan College, turned up recently that crystalized why we've all got a stake in keeping our government -- the one we elect and pay for with our taxes -- as open to scrutiny as possible:

"It is certainly not the case that every secret hides a crook or a fool. But it is true that incompetence and corruption will always seek to cloak themselves in secrecy."

She doesn't stop there. She gives examples of the sort of stories the newspaper has done that relied on public records -- stories that might be impossible to do if Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Attorney General Mike Hatch get their way.

The privacy issue looks like it's being fast-tracked through the Legislature. If you care about holding our government responsible, call your representatives and tell them so.


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