If government accountability and transparency matter to you (as they should), head over to the Washington Coalition for Open Government’s website to see which candidates have gone on the record about making state and local government more accessible.
WCOG quizzed candidates around the state on 11 key priorities, many of them proposals for changes to state law. Among the 80 or so who responded, I count nine South Sound candidates (in addition to a couple of candidates who were eliminated in the primary election). That leaves a whole lot of questionnaires that have gone unreturned by the people vying to represent you in the Legislature and local elected office.
Many of the completed questionnaires are wholesale endorsements of WCOG’s agenda, but the responses are interesting nonetheless. Bertha Fitzer, who would be chief legal counsel for Pierce County if she won her bid to be Pierce County prosecutor, is in favor of turning back the courts’ recent expansion of government agencies’ attorney-client privilege. Hans Zeiger, who is running for Legislature in Puyallup, doesn’t want to completely give up the “legislative privilege” that allows lawmakers to keep their correspondence private. And Rick Talbert, a former Tacoma City Councilman who is running for Pierce County Council, expresses his support for encouraging public governing bodies to record their closed-door sessions to resolvedisputes about what transpired during the meeting.
Don’t see the candidates on your ballot listed as having returned the WCOG questionnaire? You may want to ask them where they stand on open government.