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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Open Meetings Are Mean

Did you ever wonder what opponents of the Open Public Meetings Act think? (Of course they don't admit they oppose the OPMA, they just think it's mean to sue people to enforce it.) You can read their view in this Seattle Times op-ed.

The opponents' main contention is that suing to enforce the OPMA is "political." Guess what? When elected officials are accused of violating a law designed to let the public see what their elected officials are doing with their tax money, it might have some impact on how people vote. It's supposed to.

If you really think the Open Public Meetings Act is a mean political weapon then introduce a bill in the next Legislature to repeal it. Oh, but the angry reaction from the public who doesn't want government to operate behind their backs might be "political."

Speaking of "political," we couldn't help noticing that this op-ed defending those poor OPMA victims on the Shoreline City Council who are up for re-election just happened to be published exactly when ballots arrived by mail. Bringing this up is probably just mean and "political."

For the pro-openness perspective, see this September 17, 2007 Seattle Times editorial.