Gov. Jay Inslee, in fulfilling a campaign promise not to invoke executive privilege to block the release of public records, has taken an important stand for open government.
Inslee’s predecessor, Chris Gregoire, claimed the Governor’s Office was not bound by state law requiring disclosure of public documents. The Governor’s Office cited executive privilege at least 500 times in Gregoire’s tenure as grounds for withholding records.
The Freedom Foundation, an Olympia-based libertarian think tank, disputed Gregoire’s reasoning, taking the matter to the State Supreme Court. At issue were six specific documents on a variety of subjects, including the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement, medical marijuana and criminal pardons.