Former AG McKenna favors constitutional amendment to bar govt-records ‘privilege’

From The Olympian: Former Washington attorney general Rob McKenna says he favors a constitutional amendment as a way to counter last week’s state Supreme Court ruling that upheld a governor’s claim of executive privilege. Former governors Chris Gregoire and Gary Locke had invoked such a privilege claim in refusing to release certain sensitive public records, and Olympia-based Evergreen Freedom Foundation (now The Freedom Foundation) sued to strike down that claim.

More

Activist’s nine-year navy FOIA fight ends in Supreme Court win

From Bloomberg:

Glen Milner wanted to know the dangers posed by the Navy’s Indian Island munitions facility near Port Townsend, Washington. So in 2003, he filed a Freedom of Information request.

More

Washington state court upholds fine against governor’s staff in records case

From The Olympian:

The state Court of Appeals has upheld a $2,175 fine against Gov. Chris Gregoire’s staff for illegally withholding a three-page briefing document that Olympia activist Arthur West requested in 2009.

Gregoire initially claimed the record was protected by “executive privilege” – a controversial legal position that is now under legal challenge by open-government advocates in a separate case being heard Thursday in the state Supreme Court.

More

Many courts in Washington State need a refresher on open records rights

From The News Tribune

Location seems to be a key factor in determining whether citizens can successfully obtain public records they’re entitled to by state law. At least that what News Tribune reporter Sean Robinson discovered when he requested public documents regarding cases adjudicated in 22 district and municipal courts in the South Sound.

[…]

More

Washington State candidates seek open records

From The News Tribune

Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee both pledge to, if elected, open public access to more government records.

How each would fulfill that promise differs, except in one significant way: Both gubernatorial hopefuls said they would decline to claim a special exception to disclosure for the governor’s office.

 

More

NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for April 27, 2012

With a remix of the tried and true FOI Friday, we hereby introduce NFOIC's State FOIA Friday, available same time (Fridays) and same station (NFOIC's blog) with a few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week:

Dallas police defend email retention policy

More

Public Records Help Washington Watchdogs Sniff Out Corruption

From KUOW.org:

"Trust and confidence in governmental institutions is at an all–time low. High on the list of causes of this citizen distrust are secrecy in government and the influence of private money on governmental decision making."

It sounds like it could have been written by Occupy Seattle protesters. Or maybe by the tea party. But the statement actually accompanied a ballot measure that Washington voters passed back in 1972.

More