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Champions and chumps of governmental transparency

in Statewide by
From the Tallahassee Democrat: A selection of legislators who have acted in the interest of Florida’s Sunshine Laws or who have sponsored bills that are contrary to them. Champions:

•Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland. Dockery is Senate sponsor of a bill to enact the recommendations of the Governor’s Commission on Open Government. She was a member of the commission.

•Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, D-Sarasota. House sponsor of a bill that would open the legislative process, particularly budget negotiations.

•Rep. Clay Ford, R-Gulf Breeze. Ford is the House sponsor of a bill to enact the recommendations of the Governor’s Commission on Open Government.

•Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach. Sponsor of a bill that would open the legislative process, particularly budget negotiations. Awarded the 2008 Pete Weitzel/Friends of the First Amendment Award by the Florida First Amendment Foundation.

•Senate President Jeff Atwater of North Palm Beach, Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales were among the state Senators who pushed and launched Transparency Florida, a Web site, http://www.transparencyflorida.gov, that details state budgeting and spending.

Chumps:

•Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness. Dean is sponsor of a bill to allow government notices be published online.

•Rep. Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill. Schenck chairs the House Governmental Affairs Policy Committee that is sponsor of a bill to exempt 911-call recordings from public records.

•Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne. Workman is sponsor of a bill to allow government notices be published online. “It costs $50 million a year for local municipalities throughout the state. Newspapers are a thing of yesteryear.”

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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