Monday, March 8, 2010

All 5 gubernatorial candidates to participate in Sunshine Conference

Congresswoman Mary Fallin will join the four other gubernatorial candidates in an open government forum Saturday during the third-annual Sunshine Week conference.

Oklahoma Sunshine ’10: Privacy, Politicians & the Public’s Need to Know will be held at The Oklahoman, 9000 N. Broadway, Oklahoma City.

The conference's afternoon session will feature a question-and-answer session with candidates for governor and attorney general. All the announced candidates were invited to participate.

Fallin will join fellow Republican gubernatorial candidates state Sen. Randy Brogdon and Robert Hubbard, and Democratic candidates Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmondson.

Jim Priest, a Democratic candidate for attorney general, also will participate.

Each candidate will be afforded three minutes to initially state his or her position on open government and any proposals regarding government transparency and the state’s open meeting and records laws.

The conference's morning sessions will focus on the issue of birth dates, public records and identity theft. Data privacy expert and former Iowa legislator Richard J.H. Varn will explain how improved identity management technology and practices, along with public education on self-protection measures, would be more effective defenses against identity theft than redacting information from public records.

Dallas Morning News attorney Paul C. Watler and computer‐assisted reporting editor Ryan McNeill will explain the newspaper’s lawsuit over government employee birth dates in Texas and the legislative debate in that state over public access to the information.

Mark Thomas of the Oklahoma Press Association will analyze current bills in the Legislature to limit or expand the public’s right to know in Oklahoma.

A luncheon panel will look back at 20 years of FOI Oklahoma Inc. Recipients of FOI Oklahoma's three annual FOI awards also will be announced.

Wednesday is the deadline for early registrations.

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Journalism

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