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Fight secrecy always

Register • Jun 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Here's one thing we know for certain: The public must fight government secrecy in every instance, and it must fight with unending vigilance any and every effort by any government to implement legislation to make it lawful to do the public's business in private.

We applaud state Rep. Chris Redfern for the strong stand he's taken against a proposal in the Ohio Statehouse that would give local governments more reasons to meet in executive, closed-door sessions that bar the public from knowing or participating in the acts of government. 

“We ought not to allow county commissioners and mayors to cut deals, sometimes with their friends, outside the purview of public oversight,” Redfern said.

Redfern's strong opposition and his role as chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party should have sway with Democrats. This is not a partisan issue, however, and we're glad too that state Rep. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, also said no justification exists for extending the closed-door options for government. The limited options that now exist are well reasoned and do not need tinkered or diminished. 

Gov. John Kasich's privatization of the state commerce department into JobsOhio was a disaster and a start toward that implementing standards of secrecy between the government and the governed. Lawmakers have no business following that bad example with this proposed legislation seeking to block the public from the public's business. 

The public must fight government secrecy at every step, always. 

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