Editor’s note: Sunshine Week, March 16-22, 2014, is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information.
An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Sunday marked the 263rd anniversary of the birth of James Madison, the father of the Bill of Rights, which codify the rights endowed to us by our Creator.
Advocates of open government — which should include everyone — use his birthday each year to kick off Sunshine Week to promote the cause of transparency in government. Its sponsors are journalism related, but the issue goes well beyond freedom of the press.
Sadly, under President Obama, instead of more sunshine, the federal government has put up the shade as it increasing ignores Freedom of Information Act requests, Josh Hicks of the Washington Post reported.
“An Associated Press analysis of federal data found that the Obama administration has grown more secretive over time, last year censoring or outright denying FOIA access to government files more than ever since Obama took office,” Hicks wrote. “The administration has also cited more legal exceptions to justify withholding materials and refused to turn over newsworthy files quickly, and most agencies took longer to answer records requests, according to the AP study…”