Today’s Denver Post updates readers on a Democrat-sponsored bill in the Colorado statehouse that would erect more barriers between citizens and public records:
A draft of [House Majority Leader Alice] Madden’s [D – Boulder] bill proposes several changes in addition to requiring proof of citizenship, among them:
â€¢ Citizens would have to deliver requests by hand or by certified mail instead of through a wider variety of methods allowed under current law.
â€¢ More of lawmakers’ e- mails â€” such as information from and about constituents â€” could be exempt.
â€¢ Agencies would more easily be able to take an extra seven days to respond to requests.
â€¢ Agencies could refuse to release records that contain confidential information such as Social Security numbers, instead of redacting the protected information and releasing the document.
Madden’s bill would also cut record-seekers a break on fees for retrieving documents, making it free if the task takes less than two hours.
By comparison, none of the Colorado’s five neighboring states require proof of state citizenship to obtain records, and all allow people to submit requests through any channel.
Anybody wonder whether the majority Democrats have become too comfortable and self-serving while in power at the state legislature? Just ask a typically Left-leaning group about this proposal:
While lawmakers are responding to pressures under the Capitol dome, changes to Colorado’s records law would have much wider â€” and chilling â€” ramifications across the state, says Jenny Flanagan of Colorado Common Cause.
“The whole purpose of our open meetings and our open records law is that the public business is done in the public view,” said Flanagan, whose group advocates open government. “We don’t want to see unnecessary barriers that could impede the public’s right to know.”
I would go a step further and suggest that the statist philosophy underpinning today’s Democratic Party makes its leaders even more susceptible to the delusion that the perks and spoils of government belong to those at the controls, and that the rights and liberties of everyday citizens are a secondary concern. Allow me to restate more simply: Democrat leaders believe government belongs to them, not to the people of Colorado.
Will Madden see the light and back down on this regressive elitist proposal? Or maybe the better question is: What are Colorado Democrats trying to hide?