EDITORIAL: Sunshine wasn’t a Stalin plot

DeFuniak Springs City Councilman Kermit Wright really, really, really doesn’t like Florida’s open-government, or sunshine, laws. And he doesn’t mind saying so. “The sunshine law is a communist plot straight out of Stalin,” he told the Daily News’ Tom McLaughlin the other day. “I don’t like it or anything that restricts free speech. It’s against everything I stand for.”

Mr. Wright was commenting on a former police captain’s lawsuit alleging sunshine law violations in DeFuniak Springs. There’s no reason to believe that Wright, who was elected in 2011 and recently re-elected, has broken any laws. But his assertion that open-government requirements are a commie plot begs for a response.

We suspect the thugs who ran Josef Stalin’s Russia had no use for open meetings, open records and transparent decision-making. Soviet tyranny operated amid secrecy, not openness. It’s nonsense to think that Stalin — or Khrushchev or Brezhnev or any of Russia’s other hard-liners from the old days — begat today’s sunshine laws. Continue>>>