Dean should be open

Published: Wednesday, January 14, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 at 10:40 p.m.

Linda C. Wilson (Jan. 5) defends two actions that Howard Dean took while governor of Vermont.

First, he sealed some of his official papers, citing "executive privilege." The papers were generated at taxpayers' expense, on taxpayers' time - and, of course, are taxpayer property. Sealing them by a person in power is theft and it is useful to hide misfeasance and malfeasance.

Wilson defends it by stating that it now "seems to be the norm," and (no kidding!) that George Bush does it, too. Executive privilege may be OK for royalty and for tyranny, but it should have no place in a democracy.

Second, Dean held secret meetings with industry officials while governor, but now complains about the secret meetings of Dick Cheney and officials of the energy industry. Wilson defends it by pointing to the defects in the Florida Sunshine Law and to the "Council of 100" (See? This happens in Florida all the time).

I would hope that the coming election is not simply to replace George Bush, but to lead to some kind of renewal of our democracy and a new empowerment of the citizen. I think Dean would improve his chances by being resolutely open with his record.

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