Good morning, Sunshine!

March 17th, 2008 9:47 am by Kelly Garbato

Here’s wishing y’all a happy Sunshine Week from the dreary depths of the midwest.


Via the Bill of Rights Defense Committee*:

“Sunshine is the best of disinfectants,” said Judge Louis Brandeis about the power of public scrutiny to scrub clean the dark corners of government abuse. The American Society of Newspaper Editors has named March 16-22 of this year “Sunshine Week”, a week-long assertion of the public’s right to know what its government is doing.

The week’s events include:

* March 14 – A National Freedom of Information Day Conference, sponsored by the First Amendment Center;

* March 17 – A National Freedom of Information Day Celebration, sponsored by Collaboration on Government Secrecy;

* March 18 – Remarks by Associated Press President Tom Curley at the National Press Club;

* March 19 – Webcast Government Secrecy: Censoring Your Rights with Mickey Edwards, from the Aspen Institute, and former Republican member of Congress from Oklahoma; Ann Beeson, from the Open Society Institute, formerly with the American Civil Liberties Union; and John Podesta from the Center for American Progress, formerly president Clinton’s Chief of Staff. From 1 to 2:30 p.m. EST at the Washington Press Club, and also available online.

* March 20 – Professor Lawrence Lessig on corruption in government, sponsored by the Sunlight Foundation.

In 2007, Sunshine Week marked an effort by Congress to pass “sunshine” legislation, such as:

* A bill protecting whistleblowers (H.R. 985), which passed the House 331-94 on March 14, 2007. The bill has not made it out of committee in the Senate.

* A Freedom of Information Amendments Act (H.R. 1309), which passed the House 308-117 on March 14, 2007. H.R. 1309, however, was unable to make it through the Senate, so in mid-December, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and John Kyl (R-AZ) pushed through a moderated version (S. 2488) on voice votes, which became law on December 31.

What You Can Do:

* Ideas for local Sunshine Week events can be found in Bright Ideas, an assemblage of insights first published in 2007.

* Campaign resources, including public service announcements, brochures and opinion editorials, are available by clicking here.

You can find out more at

* They’re like the ACLU, but with principles n stuff.

(Crossposted from Smite Me! [.net])



Be Sociable, Share!

Filed under , , ,

Leave a Reply