Monday, December 08, 2003
Dean welcomes lawsuit, says let Judge decide on records http://www.suntimes.com/output/elect/cst-nws-dean08.html
MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said Sunday he will let a judge determine which of his sealed records from Dean's years as Vermont's governor should be made public.
Speaking on ''Fox News Sunday,'' Dean said he has decided to use a lawsuit by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, suing to open the records, as a mechanism to determine which records should be released and which should be kept sealed.
''What we think the best thing to do is to let the judge go through every single document and decide for himself what ought to be revealed and what not to be revealed,'' Dean said.
The fairest system is to have a judge review the documents, Dean said Sunday.
''Clearly our campaign can't review the documents, because nobody would believe that we weren't doing something political,'' he said. ''So let an independent third party -- and I think the Judicial Watch suit gives us the opportunity to let a judge go through every single document.''
The practice by Vermont's governors of sealing records when they leave office is not unusual, but the length of time Dean chose is longer than his two predecessors, who imposed time locks of six and 71/2 years.
The sealed records under discussion contain correspondence that should remain private, Dean said.
''There are some things in there that are really not fair to reveal,'' Dean said. ''Privacy concerns, people writing letters in to me that are private. I mean, everybody admits that if somebody writes a letter to me saying, you know, 'Dear Governor, my wife has AIDS' or something like that, that should not be revealed.''
I have to say, this is exactly the right way to handle this. Can you imagine Bush ever agreeing to this kind of third party control? It also nicely defuses the "what's he got to hide" attack.
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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.