Augusta – 85 candidates for the Maine legislature have pledged to support openness in state government if elected, in response to a request from the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition (MFOIC). MFOIC sent the pledge to all 365 legislative candidates who will appear on the November ballot.

By signing the pledge, candidates agreed to uphold and protect the letter and spirit of the Maine Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) and to oppose attempts to exclude the public from legislative matters contrary to the law.

“Open, transparent and accessible state government proceedings are essential for a healthy democracy,” said Jim Campbell, chairman of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition. “Maine citizens should be informed about which candidates will stand up for their right to know what the government is doing.”

MFOIC has increased its efforts to uphold and protect the FOAA, in light of recent attempts by both the legislative and executive branches to impede public access to government activities. This includes late-night budget negotiations not open to the public, use of “caucus” meetings to exclude reporter access, efforts to stop streaming committee hearings online, and private meetings of the governor’s education task force.

The full text and list of signatories to the open government pledge is available here: http://mfoic.org/candidates-pledge-2016

MFOIC is a tax exempt Maine non-profit corporation dedicated to educating Mainers about their rights and responsibilities as citizens in our democracy and enhancing knowledge and awareness of the First Amendment and laws aimed at ensuring transparency in government.

 

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