The Freedom of Information Act, authored by Sacramento’s own Congressman John E. Moss, (left) was signed by President Lyndon Johnson on July 4, 1966. It took more than a decade to get the legislation to LBJ’s desk, and it originated from Congress’s own frustation at being denied Executive Branch information. By the time it came to be signed, the nation was in a state of war far more literal and agonizing than any GWOT today, and the President had domestic ambitions—the War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Act—at least as controversial and hard-fought as today’s Affordable Care Act. But the momentum that Congressman Moss had quietly built, with the awakening support of the press, left FOIA as, in the words of another great legislative leader of the day, “an idea whose time had come.” Jelani Cobb in this week’s New Yorker blog reminds us of that unlikely—and at the time little celebrated—gift of the strife-torn Sixties.
About The Editor
Terry Francke, General Counsel
Terry Francke has a 39-year history of helping journalists, citizens and public officials understand and use their First Amendment and open government rights. With CalAware, Francke has authored comprehensive and authoritative guidebooks to California law on access to government meetings and public records and the news gathering and publication rights of journalists. Focusing on these issues in public forum law, he supervises CalAware's legislative and litigation initiatives; conducts workshops on legal compliance; helps design public records audits; supports local sunshine ordinance drafting efforts; writes CalAware Today, a blog on current developments and proposals in the law and best practices; and answers countless queries by phone and e-mail from citizens, journalists, public officials and employees, and lawyers. Francke previously served 14 years as executive director and general counsel to the California First Amendment Coalition, after a 10-year post as legal counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association. He has served as an advisory panel member to the National Center on Courts and the Media; taught journalism law at the Department of Communication at Stanford University; and served as an expert contributor to the 1994 major revisions to the Ralph M. Brown Act and the 2004 ballot proposition making open government a basic right of citizens under the California Constitution. Francke is a 1967 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a 1979 graduate of McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. Prior to his legal career, Francke worked as a weekly newspaper editor and in military and local government public affairs positions.
While Waiting for the Sunshine . . . You’re Invited!
September 28, 2015
Stem Cell Research Data May Not Be Disclosed
October 7, 2009
Internet license—>speech licensing?
January 20, 2015
Two L.A. D.A. Hopefuls Silent So Far on Discipline
June 29, 2011
Help our cause
Help Our Cause
- Government creating roadblocks due to pandemic
- Calaware Mourns the Death of Founding Member, Tim Crews
- Your response enabled our book updating; here’s a token of gratitude for the rest
- Open Letter: Updating our guidebooks, training students to protect democracy
- Fighting the legal ploy that leaves transparency postponed, costly
SOS to All Attorneys
CalAware Members can use our Solicitation of Service (SOS) form to describe their legal problem and request an attorney’s response regarding representation or other services, and have that request sent in an individual email to every attorney in the Directory, setting a deadline for response.