Where our candidates stand on open government policy

Want to know where a few of Clark County’s candidates stand on open government policies, including rules about public records requests?

As candidates filed for election this spring, the Washington Coalition for Open Government sent out a survey asking those seeking public office about where they stand on policies related to government transparency.

From Clark County, four legislative candidates and one county commissioner candidate responded. The survey includes nine questions about open government policy, including legislation that would video tape executive sessions in case of a legal dispute regarding the session, restore funding to the Washington State Archives, and improving the way electronic records are archived.

The candidates who responded to the open government survey are (click on their names to view their questionnaires):

Carolyn Crain, a Republican running in the 49th District against state Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver

David Madore, a Republican running for District 2 county commissioner against Marc Boldt

— Rep. Jim Moeller

Debbie Peterson, a Republican running in the 49th District against state Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver

Liz Pike, a Republican running for the 18th District representative seat being vacated by state Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama

In their questionnaires, Crain, Madore, Peterson and Pike said they would support all nine of the open government policy suggestions, including making permanent the open government ombudsman job, which was created by the Office of the Attorney General.

Moeller had a mixed reaction to the policy proposals. He said he would support several of the open government policies, but he declined to support legislation to prevent increases on fees associated with certain public records requests or to promise to protect the state archives from future cuts.

Moeller answered no when asked if he would support legislation to crack down on government agencies who use attorney client privilege as an excuse for withholding public records when the records in question have nothing to do with a legal dispute. However, in the additional comments portion of the questionnaire, Moeller clarified that it would depend on how the bill was worded.

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