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Sunshine Week

Foilies 2022: Recognizing the year’s worst in government transparency

Each year during Sunshine Week (March 13-19), the Foilies serve up tongue-in-cheek "awards" for government agencies and assorted institutions that stand in the way of access to information. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and MuckRock combine forces to collect horror stories about Freedom of Information Act and state-level public records requests across the U.S.... Read more»

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Comic:

Hellertoon: Trump on a tear

Who's got something to hide?... Read more»

Comic:

Claytoonz: Flushles the President

Wouldn’t it be funny if the flushed documents thing is just a ruse to cover up that it’s Donald Trump naturally clogging all the White House toilets? Think about it. He can’t keep his teeth in his mouth and he eats nothing but Big Macs and KFC. It’s highly unlikely he’s chewing his food.... Read more»

Comic:

Claytoonz: Mar-a-Lago presidential records confetti shower

When you are in government service and you start destroying documents, those documents immediately become evidence because you’re breaking the law.... Read more»

Customs & Border Protection ordered to disclose social media surveillance rules

U.S. Customs and Border Protection cannot withhold information on its rules for authorizing agents to use fake identities and non-government accounts to spy on social media users, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. ... Read more»

Public Integrity sues for South Dakota National Guard border deployment records

The Center for Public Integrity filed a lawsuit against the Defense Department and South Dakota National Guard seeking public release of records related to a decision by Gov. Kristi Noem to deploy the Guard to the Texas-Mexico border that raised issues about private funding of military actions and use of the military for political purposes.... Read more»

Dominion Voting Systems sues Santa Clara County to block release of public records

Dominion Voting Systems filed a writ of mandate Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court to prevent the county from releasing financial information gathered during a contract procurement process - including one request made by a “sovereign citizen of New California.” ... Read more»

Judge: Arizona Senate must disclose who is funding its election review

A judge said the Arizona Senate's reasoning for why it rejected a public records request for documents relating to the ongoing ballot review — including who is funding the effort — would lead to the "absurd result" of effectively gutting state public records law and "erode any sense of transparency" in government.... Read more»

Arizona budget bill provision would allow DPS to block release of all video records

Tucked into a budget bill on criminal justice is a provision that would allow the Arizona Department of Public Safety to outright deny releasing any video records the agency possesses and to heavily edit any videos it chooses to make public.... Read more»

'Circus is coming to town': How the El Paso Border Patrol’s 2018 Election Day plan unraveled

In 2018, the El Paso Border Patrol sector scrapped a “crowd control exercise” that was planned on Election Day, stating the exercise was postponed “due to inaccurate reporting that caused unneeded confusion in border communities,” - yet emails show it was never anything more than a scheme for media attention that drew heavy criticism within the Border Patrol and CBP.... Read more»

Guest opinion: Sunshine Week

You can’t have democracy without a free press

There’s a reason we need a free press, despite its faults and foibles: Democracy won’t work without it. The grand experiment in self-governance that is the United States is rooted in trust and confidence we all will work toward the greater good. But the nation’s founders had experience with a king and his expected benevolence — and what could happen when things didn’t work out.... Read more»

Sunshine Week

Governors evade open gov't laws to keep records from public

In most states, sunshine laws give the public insight into the governor's decisions. Since last year, governors across the country have provided thousands of pages of emails in response to requests filed by The Associated Press, revealing how some pushed economic interests ahead of public health guidance as they battled the pandemic.... Read more»

Sunshine Week

Governments delay access to public records during pandemic

As states prepared to reopen their economies following coronavirus shutdowns last spring, the Associated Press asked governors across the U.S. for records that could shed light on how businesses and health officials influenced their decisions. Nine months later, after several more COVID-19 surges and shutdowns, the AP still has not received records from about 20 states.... Read more»

Sunshine Week

Pandemic redefines 'public' access to government meetings

A year after COVID-19 triggered government shutdowns and crowd limitations, more public bodies than ever are livestreaming their meetings for anyone to watch from a computer, television or smartphone. But in some cases, it's become harder for people to actually talk with their elected officials.... Read more»

Biden and the future of Trump’s border wall

President-elect Joe Biden made a campaign promise to stop building Donald Trump’s border wall. But how will the incoming administration will repair the damage — environmental, cultural and political — the wall’s already done?... Read more»

Border Patrol downplays agents' racist, misogynistic Facebook group

Agents in a secret Facebook group shared crudely manipulated images of men sexually assaulting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat and frequent antagonist of the Border Patrol; joked about migrants who died while trying to enter the United States; and made racist insults about Central Americans. The group called itself “I’m 10-15,” Border Patrol radio code for “aliens in custody,” and included some 9,500 current or former agents. ... Read more»

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