Saturday, May 15, 2010

Just sayin' -- Veil of secrecy threatens access to Hawaii public records

I guess if a journalist were allowed to have an opinion about anything, it would be access to public records.

So it's appropriate here to post two letters the Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter recently sent to Gov. Linda Lingle, asking her to veto two insidious bills the state Legislature passed this year. I'm the signatory on these letters, and I did write them, but they represent the opinion of the SPJ board, on behalf of FOIA-ers everywhere.

As a moonlighting FOIA lobbyist, I guess I’d better keep my day job. Lingle on Wednesday signed the bill formerly known as “vexatious requestor” and now simply known as the  “birther” bill, and we can only hope that it won’t take on a life of its own and continue past its original purpose. Talk about vexatious!

Still to come – what the governor decides to do with the public’s right to know about complaints filed against their dentists, builders, real estate professionals, etc. Think HB1212 is a bad bill? It’s not too late to register your concerns with the governor’s office.

Stay tuned here or follow me on Twitter for updates on this bill and other government news. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. I’m just sayin.