Editorial: Officials should release info before request

Information regarding the routes of freight trains carrying petroleum belongs in the public record. The Feb. 24 editorial regarding recent derailments noted that neither railroad companies nor state regulators appear eager to release the details. Virginia officials disclosed the pertinent information only after receiving a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The situation underscores the importance of the FOIA. It also suggests that government in its various manifestations fails to embrace the principles the FOIA promotes.


Broad reach of Virginia’s ‘working papers’ exemption unique among open records laws

Top Virginia officials frequently rely on an alternative to one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s alleged methods of secrecy: Rather than use private emails, governors, university presidents and others hide behind state law.

The former secretary of state and presumptive Democratic presidential front-runner stepped into a thicket last week over her use of a private account to conduct official business. If she were the elected leader of Virginia or the top executive at one of the state’s public universities, it wouldn’t have mattered.