Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Austin American-Statesman: Government secrecy clouds this Independence Day

Conservative hero Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, fresh off defeating the McConnell-Kennedy Amnesty Bill, now finds Mitch McConnell harming conservatives once again. Cornyn sponsored legislation to force the government to respond to requests for public documents. The legislation was held up by Mitch McConnell. Why? Maybe because Mitch McConnell is scared what the Senate investigation will find if Karl Rove and McConnell's protege Scott Jennings will finally be forced to turn over their emails. The editorial board writes:

What makes a democracy work is transparency, accountability and an informed public. Washington's disregard for Americans' rights, open government and responsible governance makes for a rather sunless celebration of American independence today.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, a Republican, and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, a Democrat, fashioned a new version of the law and call it the OPEN Government Act. It would put teeth in the act and force the bureaucracy to respond to requests for public documents.

But Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona put a "secret hold" on the bill to keep it from moving to the Senate floor, where it should pass easily. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, has refused to allow even limited debate on the merits of the bill.