Access to information is vital to democratic republic

Regarding your excellent “open government” editorial of Sept. 15:

It is appalling and infuriating when our elected representatives hide the details of how, when and what they are doing supposedly on our behalf.

And it is much too common. Numerous legislative bodies prominently posture when they impose comprehensive open records and open meetings mandates on their executive-branch agencies and on local governments — while at the same time coyly exempting themselves from such inconveniences. (And sadly, it is very much bipartisan.)

The U.S. Congress is no exception. In 1966, they proudly enacted the Freedom of Information Act, and President Lyndon Johnson hesitantly signed it. But Congress itself was, and remains, much less open about its own activities. (It has wimpy openness rules, with nothing nearly as stringent as what it happily imposed on the executive branch.)

The bottom line is this:

We, the People, must have timely access to adequate information about the processes of our own governance — whether in a city, county, special district, state or nation. Without it, we are nothing more than blinded, subservient peons, awaiting dictates from on high in a political entity that merely pretends to be a democratic republic.

With timely access to such information, we have the opportunity to be informed participants in the process of our own governance.

Jim Warren