For Release 8-27-10
Contacts: Mal Leary, President MFOIC
Judy Meyer, Vice President MFOIC
(AUGUSTA) — The Maine Freedom of Information Coalition is challenging all candidates for Governor and the Maine Senate and House of Representatives to sign the Coalition’s pledge to support open government and public access.
“The MFOIC believes that freedom of speech, open meetings of government and access to public records are fundamental tenets of democracy,” said MFOIC President Mal Leary.
The MFOIC mailed pledge forms to each candidate and will post the names of all candidates who signed the pledge on its website, www.mfoic.org
“We elect lawmakers to represent our interests, and it’s important to hold them accountable and ensure we are all included in the business of government,” said Judith Meyer, Vice President of the MFOIC.
When Maine’s Freedom of Access Act became law in 1959, the Legislature found and declared that “public proceedings exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of the Legislature that their actions be taken openly and that the records of their actions be open to public inspection and their deliberations be conducted openly.”
However, since that first measure became law; state lawmakers have enacted hundreds of exceptions to the law.
The Maine Freedom of Information Coalition believes that government best serves the public when it operates in the most open manner possible. Our members, which include media organizations, lawyers, academicians, public-policy groups and like-minded individuals, strive to ensure that the public is informed about government actions to the fullest extent possible.
The MFOIC will continue to update its website through Election Day and urges Mainers to take the time to see if their local candidates have signed the open government pledge.