Tony Messenger sheds sunshine on open government

More than any other law on the books, the Sunshine Law is necessary for the proper and open operation of government. It is the Sunshine Law that allows citizens to keep an eye on government. And it is the Sunshine Law, when followed, that should be the ultimate defense when various government bodies, including the Appellate Judicial Commission, are accused of corruption.

Wise words from Tony Messenger printed in the Springfield News-Leader this week.

The well publicized battle between Gov. Matt Blunt and the Missouri Judiciary raises good questions. Messenger provides some good solutions. The most important may be the distribution of fines for minor offenses - the common everyday "I don't want to follow the sunshine law call-the-attorney-general response.

Few people have time to battle a paid employee who believes that public documents are his sole property who he has the right to distribute according to his liking - or, in the worse case scenario - choosing to distribute information by who he likes or companies he owns stocks in.