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Thread: WA- Sen Kline quits Sunshine Committee to protest transparency

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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    WA- Sen Kline quits Sunshine Committee to protest transparency

    Kline quits Sunshine Committee to protest transparency


    June 6, 2012
    By Jeff.Rhodes
    Seattle Sen. Adam Kline, a Democrat, says an 8-1 vote by the Sunshine Committee to expose illegal aliens serving on juries is part of a larger conservative plot to disenfranchise minorities, seniors and young voters.

    Washington State Sen. Adam Kline announced on Tuesday he was resigning from the Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee in protest of that group’s 8-1 vote last week to consider whether questionnaires filled out by prospective jurors who admit they are ineligible to serve because they lack U.S. citizenship should be made public.

    The Seattle Democrat, in a letter to the committee chair, said the real purpose of the exemption, “while couched in innocent terms as an enhancement of the public’s right to know … is to create a public scandal about illegal aliens serving on Washington juries and use it to advance legislation requiring photo identification for voters and/or requiring citizenship for drivers licenses.”

    Better known as the Sunshine Committee, the board is a byproduct of the Public Disclosure Act, which was enacted by ballot initiative in 1972.

    At the time, the act included only 10 exemptions from disclosure. Today, there are at least 300.

    Attorney General Rob McKenna requested a bill during the 2007 Legislative session to establish a Blue-Ribbon Committee to review all exemptions to the Public Disclosure Act on an annual basis. State Bill 5435 became law on July 22, 2007, creating the Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee.

    The Sunshine Committee’s job is to make recommendations to repeal or amend exemptions to the Public Records Act.

    Kline said he felt strongly about the committee’s fundamental purpose but believes the balance of power had swung too far in the direction of transparent government.

    “The public as a whole, in my view, has equal and competing interests in transparency and privacy,” he wrote, “and I believe strongly that the rightful role of the committee is to reach a balance between the two. That view is not shared by the majority of the committee, in which the press is numerically dominant.”

    Kline said he believes requiring voters to prove their citizenship by showing a valid ID is an attempt to “further a xenophobic campaign against immigrants generally.”

    Kline was particularly incensed that the exemption was suggested by the Olympia-based Freedom Foundation, which he describes as an “ultra-conservative entity whose funding sources are undisclosed.”

    “Can one actually believe that the marginal value of these juror questionnaires to the general public outweighs the risk of fueling a campaign of bigotry of the sort we are witnessing in Arizona and Alabama?” he asked. “Or does it simply not matter because the press has an interest in disclosure?”

    Kline quits Sunshine Committee to protest transparency | The Olympia Report
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  3. #3
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    I'm of the opinion Sen. Kline did a good of explaining why he was unneeded.
    Newmexican likes this.

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