A modest debate about transparency | Letter to the editor

A Kirkland resident probes Rep. Springer’s support of SB 6617.

To Rep. Springer:

Thank you for sending your constituents so much material about SB 6617, which exempted the legislature from the Public Records Act. You seem to be under the impression that the public is confused and concerned about this bill, rather than actively opposing it.

I think we can work together to help clear up any confusion.

I propose we have an open, transparent debate on this matter. I know you appreciate Section 108 of the bill – which has legislative staff review all records requests, and has legislative committees make a final ruling on all appeals – so in the spirit of being as fair and transparent as you, I propose we have a debate on your terms.

Because we wouldn’t want you to say anything in the debate that might embarrass any of your constituents, I will hire a friend of mine to vet everything you plan to say and tell you whether you can say it or not. Don’t worry, if you have a disagreement, you can appeal it: my wife will decide if my employee is being unfair to you.

This is absolutely critical, because last time I had a debate, I lost, and losing debates is costly so I need these rules in order to avoid that. I’m sure you’ll understand, since you have also argued that losing a court case is sufficient cause to alter the rules so that you can’t ever lose again.

I am confident you will find this debate format fair due to your support of SB 6617, which imposes this same process on citizens seeking public records. I look forward to your acceptance at which point I will let you know the time and place to show up (and if you aren’t available, again, you’re welcome to appeal to my wife).

David Johnson,

Kirkland

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