Happy Sunshine Week!
As we start this week (complete with Mother Nature’s reminder that Sunshine Week is a metaphor), it seems appropriate to start with some commentary on the general state of things. As others (such as Megan Rhyne of VCOG, in this Richmond Times-Dispatch profile) have noted, there is both good and bad when it comes to open government in Virginia.
Some news outlets have pointed out “storm clouds,” and we agree that cases of legal and PR attacks on journalists and whistleblowers are troubling.
But what is just as concerning, if not more, are the smog and haze that come from inappropriate official attitudes. These are not the officials who take an aggressive view of a particular FOIA exemption. These are the officials who are apathetic about open government and easy access to public records; the officials who offer preferential public records access only to certain favored people; the officials who have it in their power to improve government openness but prefer instead to offer only the openness that they feel you deserve.