Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ask your local, state and federal candidates where they stand on open government - SendMeRSS

Sunshine Week, which is March 16-22, has begun compiling an unprecedented Web database that will chronicle the positions of candidates running for president and Congress on issues of government openness, access and secrecy.

Sunshine Week Campaign database planned

From David Westphal, and Pat Yack, co-chairs of ASNE's Freedom of Information Committee:

Sunshine Week has begun compiling an unprecedented Web database that will chronicle the positions of candidates running for president and Congress on issues of government openness, access and secrecy. We're calling this the Sunshine Campaign.

Our aim is a one-of-a-kind repository that will inform voters on where candidates stand, and will serve as a touchstone for measuring the winning candidates' performance in office.

We need your help in asking candidates their views on Freedom of Information issues. Many of you will have the chance, over the next 14 months, to grill candidates in editorial board meetings, debates, town-hall meetings and on-the-road reporting. We'd like to suggest that these are golden opportunities to ask what we think are among the most important questions of the campaign.

We've put together a list of questions we hope will get to as many candidates as possible, but we encourage you to formulate your own as well. We also hope you'll take this model and apply it to candidates at the state and local level.

We know there's never enough time to ask all the questions that need to be asked, but access to government information lies at the heart of our democracy. At a time when world events have prompted strong pleas from some to expand secrecy in government, it is fundamental to the public interest to know where the candidates stand — just as we need to know their views on war and peace, jobs and the economy.

Getting candidates to address openness issues is the big challenge. But we ask your help as well in getting their answers to Sunshine Week Coordinator Debra Gersh Hernandez, who will compile this searchable database. Simply e-mail transcripts or clips — from your reporting or from others' that you spot — to Deb at dghernandez@asne.org.

Visit Sunshineweek.org for more of the story.



Link - Wed, 13 Feb 2008 20:08:05 GMT - Feed (11 subs)

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