Who says we're one-sided and partisan? Of the four legislators who've made our Quote of the Day this session, today makes three by a Democrat (see Delegates Scott Surovell and Jennifer McClellan). It all started on the House floor when Delegate Mark Keam (D-35, Vienna) went through the pro forma motion of asking that his his bill, HB 837, legislation to make the FOIA process more understandable for citizens and interest groups, and one which we have supported for two years now, be engrossed and passed on to its third reading. But he added his thanks to General Laws Committee counsel for her help in drafting the bill and then thanked The Family Foundation for our support in helping get the bill through.
The bill's soon-to-be passage is a classic case of a "easy approval deception" — despite the unanimous approval from the General Laws Committee, there was tough opposition to beat back well before the final vote. Nothing is ever as easy as it seems at the Virginia General Assembly, and this bill went to sub-committee, full committee, back to sub-committee and finally back to full committee. Not easy at all, but without one dissenting vote in its labyrinth legislative journey, you wouldn't know otherwise. In short, lots of hard behind-the-scenes work by Delegate Keam, to whom we are very grateful. We think we did our part as well.
The most open possible government is a goal we have always fought for and one which we always will. It's an issue that should have no partisan divide, and the bureaucratic opposition to this bill — whom we pay and then turn around and use our tax dollars to lobby against our rights — should be ashamed of keeping Virginians from knowing what its government does. Even the mainstream media, which has its own turf to protect, opposed this bill.
The light moment of Delegate Keam's short floor speech came when he said he thinks his patronage of this bill has put him in the running for our Legislator of the Year Award. Then, as everything else these days, the conversation went virtual, on Twitter. So, here's the rest of our Quote of the Day . . .
We stand ready to work with any legislator whose ideas fit into our five core principles.