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Profiles of FOIA reformers

From the Spring 2005 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 5. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) In Senate:…

From the Spring 2005 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 5.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)

In Senate: Since 2003

FOI experience: Beefed up the Open Records Division of the Texas Attorney General’s office to speed requests for public records, more aggressively haul open government violators to court, and answer open records questions on a toll-free hotline,1999-2002. Recognized in 2001 by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas with the James Madison Award.

Musical taste: Country

Book at bedside: “The Eloquent President: A Portrait of Abraham Lincoln Through His Words” by Ronald C. White Jr.

Favorite FOI request: None that stand out.

Quote: “I was shocked, really, to come to Washington and see no presumption of openness.”n


Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

In Senate: Since 1975

FOI experience: As Senate’s longtime open government champion, sponsored the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996, directing federal agencies to make more information available electronically and speed requests. Inducted in 1996 into the Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame.

Musical taste: Grateful Dead, classical piano

Book at bedside: “Ireland” by Frank Delaney

Favorite FOI request: The ACLU used the act to obtain “far, far more information” regarding the U.S. policy on torture than Sen. Leahy has gotten from the administration.

Quote: “Until this year, I have been unable to convince a single Republican to join my effort.”