Coalition Letter FOIA

May 17, 2007

The Honorable Harry Reid
528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
361-A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Reid and Senator McConnell:

We write on behalf of the undersigned group of 100 business, public interest, and historical groups and associations to endorse the OPEN Government Act of 2007 (S. 849), as introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator John Cornyn. 

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the public’s most significant tool for ensuring integrity and accountability from the federal government.  Unfortunately, FOIA’s promise of ensuring an open and accountable government has been seriously undermined by the excessive processing delays that FOIA requesters face across the government.  The OPEN Government Act would:

  • Close loopholes in FOIA;
  • Help the public get timely responses to FOIA requests; and
  • Improve agency accountability and require better management of FOIA programs.

The public’s confidence in the executive branch has reached a dramatic low point.  The OPEN Government Act of 2007 would demonstrate bipartisan congressional leadership to restore public faith in government and to advance the ideals of openness that our democracy embodies.  The Senate Judiciary Committee has reported favorably upon the bill without any amendments.  We urge you to support this legislation and help it move quickly to the Senate floor for a vote.

Sincerely,

Alliance for Justice

America Association of Law Libraries

American Association of Small Property Owners

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

American Families United

American Library Association

Animal Welfare Institute

ASPCA

Assassination Archives and Research Center

Association of American Publishers

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Biodiversity Conservation Alliance

Blancett Ranches, Aztec, NM

Californians Aware

Californians for Western Wilderness

Center for Democracy and Technology

Center for Energy Research

Center for National Security Studies

Citizen Action New Mexico

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Common Cause

Community Recovery Services

Conservation Congress

Doctors for Open Government

DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

The E-Accountability Foundation/Parentadvocates.org

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Environmental Defense Institute

Environmental Integrity Project

Ethics in Government Group

Fernald Residents for Environmental Safety & Health, Inc.

Florida First Amendment Foundation

Forest Guardians

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Friends of Animals

Friends of the Wild Swan

Georgia ForestWatch

Georgians for Open Government

Government Accountability Project

Great Basin Mine Watch

Gun Owners of America

HALT, Inc

The Health Integrity Project

HEAL Utah

The Humane Society of the United States

Idaho Sporting Congress, Inc.

Indiana Coalition for Open Government

The James Madison Project

Law Librarian Association of Greater New York

Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin

League of Women Voters of the U.S.

Liberty Coalition

Los Alamos Study Group

Maine Association of Broadcasters

Mine Safety and Health News

The Multiracial Activist

National Coalition Against Censorship

National Freedom of Information Coalition

National Security Archive

National Taxpayers Union

National Treasury Employees Union

National Whistleblower Center

Natural Resources Defense Council

The New Grady Coalition

No FEAR Coalition

Northern California Association of Law Libraries

Northwest Environmental Advocates

Nuclear Watch New Mexico

Okanogan Highlands Bottling Company

OMB Watch

Open Society Policy Center

OpenTheGovernment.org

Oregon Natural Desert Association

Oregon PeaceWorks

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc.

People For the American Way

Project On Government Oversight

Public Citizen

ReadtheBill.org Education Fund

Republican Liberty Caucus

Reynolds, Motl & Sherwood, PLLP

The Rutherford Institute

Sagebrush Sea Campaign

Semmelweis Society International

Snake River Alliance

Society of American Archivists

Society of Professional Journalists

Southern California Association of Law Libraries

Southwest Research and Information Center

The Student Health Integrity Project

Tax Analysts

Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)

Union of Concerned Scientists

VA Whistleblowers Coalition

Western Environmental Law Center

Western Lands Project

Western Resource Advocates

The Wilderness Society

Wild Wilderness

Wilderness Workshop

cc:   Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, Sen. Russell D. Feingold, Sen. Johnny Isakson, Sen. John F. Kerry, Sen. Mary Landrieu, Sen. Bernard Sanders, Sen. Arlen Specter