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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Open Gov't Town Hall Meeting in Clark County

The (Vancouver) Columbian reports on an open government town hall meeting attended by the State Auditor and the Attorney General's Open Government Ombudsman.

Pretty interesting overview in this story of the big open government issues.

Thanks to JB51 for this story.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Olympian Editorial on Inmates' Rights to Public Records (II)

The Olympian writes this editorial in support of a bill to limit inmates' rights to obtain public records.

Here is an editorial from The Olympian on the topic from last summer. Interesting.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Seattle Times Blog Piece on Agencies' Computer Illiteracy

The Seattle Times' Brier Dudley posts this piece on the Everett School District's inability to use the "search" feature on emails.

Note: The records requestor referred to in the piece is a client of Allied Law Group.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Local Gov't to Blog on Open Gov't Issues

Ramsey Ramerman, an attorney for many local governments on open government issues, will start a blog presenting their side of the open government issue soon. The address is

We welcome the discussion. We are pretty secure in our positions so we don't worry about people seeing the other side's arguments.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Local Government Responds to Seattle Times Editorial on Copying Cost Bills

Ramsey Ramerman, an attorney who represents local government in Public Records Act cases, writes this op-ed about the Seattle Times' editorial on the copying costs bills.

As far as the point he makes about how much it costs local government to provide public records, remember that government (federal, state, local) consumes something like 30% of the economy (it's probably closer to 33% nowadays). We'd like some public records in exchange for a third of everything we own. We'll even pay the actual copying costs.

Smaller Independent Media Changing Public Record Landscape

This fascinating piece from Crosscut describes how the changes in journalism are changing the public record process.

Executive Session Taping Bill In Trouble

The (Aberdeen) Daily World reports that the super mild compromise executive session taping bill probably won't pass out of committee.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Obama Administration Says Delete Emails

He was all about openness and change.

But it looks like the Obama administration is siding with the Bush administration's position in a lawsuit to obtain millions of deleted Bush-administration emails.

Here's a recent og-blog post about whether the Obama administration will be much different than the Bush administration on open-government issues. The post seems prescient, if you don't mind us saying so.

Seattle Times Blog on Copying Charges

A quarter a page? See Lance Dickie's blog post on this.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Public Records "Fishing" or Accountability?

The Seattle Times writes this story on various public records bills in the Legislature. It discusses the issue of whether some requestors use the Public Records Act to harass while others use it to uncover agency wrongdoing.

Note: The mom fighting the Everett School District in the story is a client of Allied Law Group (click on the "Citizens" tab on this link to see her and her story).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Franklin County Adopts New Public Records Policy

This story from the Tri-City Herald describes Franklin County's new public records policy. They seem to be trying.

Monday, February 16, 2009

NPR Story on "Secret" List of Ways to Cut State Budget

NPR has this piece on the Evergreen Freedom Foundation's struggle to obtain via the Public Records Act a list of 87 ideas to cut the state budget.

Wouldn't the state want to have its ideas circulated to see what the public wants? Isn't the state budget a collection of the public's money?

Crosscut Article on All the Bad Public Records Bills This Session

Crosscut writes this on what we call "The Empire Strikes Back."

P-I Story on Prisoner Records Bill

This story from the P-I describes SB 5130, which allows the Department of Corrections to cut off public records requests from prisoners in some circumstances.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Obama Administration Failing Three Early Openness Tests

This AP story describes three high-profile requests for information and the Obama's administration's failure to disclose so far.

Sure, the Bush administration was bad on openness, but that doesn't mean the Obama administration will automatically be good. But then again, the Obama administration has been in office about three weeks so the benefit of the doubt still operates in their favor.

For about the next three weeks. Then it will start becoming apparent which path the Obama administration is choosing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Seattle Times Editorial on Copy-Cost Bill

Here is a great Seattle Times editorial on the public records copy-cost bills pending now in the Legislature.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Op-Ed Piece on Open Gov't in The (Vancouver) Columbian

Toby Nixon of the Washington Coalition for Open Government writes this op-ed in The (Vancouver) Columbian.

Lou Brancaccio Piece on Public Records

Lou Brancaccio of The (Vancouver) Columbian writes this piece which perfectly explains why the media in particular wants open government.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Traffic Accident Records Ordered Released

This story from The Olympian describes a recent ruling in Thurston County Superior Court that State Patrol accident reports must be released.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New PRA Exemption Bill

The Board of Accountancy wants an exemption from disclosure, HB 1573.

Note: Allied Law Group represents a client currently suing the Board of Accountancy for Public Records Act violations.