Monday, July 09, 2007

Kentucky newspaper holds McConnell's feet to the fire on Freedom of Information Act reform bill

The Kentucky New Era, an 11,000-circulation daily in Hopkinsville, Ky., continues to take a leadership role in trying to get the U.S. Senate to consider a bill that would improve the federal Freedom of Information Act.

The paper published an editorial June 27 asking Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to get Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., to release his “hold” on the bill, which the Justice Department opposes. Last week, when McConnell was in town, New Era reporter Joe Parrino buttonholed him on the subject.

“McConnell defended a move by his colleague Sen. Jon Kyl to hold back legislation on the release of public information," Parrino reported. "McConnell said he hadn’t yet discussed the matter directly with Kyl but understood his colleague’s reservation to be about the bill’s national-security implications. McConnell dismissed any notion that Kyl is trying to bury the bill.”

“All Sen. Kyl is saying is that we need to bring it up, debate it and he may need an amendment,” McConnell told Parrino. “It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not going to pass.” Parrino noted, “Kyl placed the hold secretly and owned up to it only when the Society of Professional Journalists queried every single U.S. senator about the matter.” (Read more) For details of the bill, click here.

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