Northern Valley Beacon

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Monday, February 13, 2006


A way to work against those totalitarians who want to close government from public view

Todd Epp's South Dakota Watch announced an organizational meeting for a South Dakota chapter of Common Cause. You don't think we need one? Then read the post under this one.

South Dakota ranks absolutely last in the 50 states for open and participatory government. Big Brother Sen. Eric Bogue wants to close government down and erode democracy away even more. Common Cause provides an organizational base and a national network for working against those with totalitarian ambitions.

The standards of Common Cause are stated as follows:

Government must be open to the public, and it needs to be run by men and women who adhere to the laws and guidelines that ensure the free flow of ideas. When public officials make decisions, cast votes or debate important issues, they must do those things in the open. Meetings must be open to the public. Public records must be accessible to all citizens. Common Cause is a member of, a coalition of groups working toadvance the public's right to know and to reduce secrecy in government.

Open government means using available technologies to reach out to the public and bring citizens into government – for example, broadcasting meetings on cable TV or webcasting, or providing public records on the Internet, rather than hiding them in a file cabinet in a remote office.

Common Cause works for reforms in these areas:

Open Meetings
Open Records
Freedom of Information Laws

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