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Monday, September 10, 2007

Olympian Editoral on Governor's Decision to Release Sunshine Committee Records

The Olympian editorializes about the Governor's about-face:

"The irony was inescapable: Gov. Chris Gregoire refusing to turn over records associated with a committee studying access to public records. ...

"Back in 2001, during a statewide audit of responses to requests for records, then-Attorney General Gregoire said, 'The bottom line is that people are entitled to pretty much any document that comes to my mind.' Withholding documents builds skepticism, Gregoire said at the time, and makes people believe government is 'hiding something.' 'When (citizens) are denied unjustly, they feel completely disenfranchised from government. They lose trust.'

"Apparently Gregoire was reminded of that fact because Friday she did an about face and agreed to release the Sunshine Committee records sought by the AP. It was definitely the right decision because by withholding Sunshine Committee records, Gregoire only added to the public's skepticism and lack of trust."