For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: October 27, 2004

Attorney General Wasden to Conduct Open Meeting/Public Records Law Workshop in McCall

(Boise) - Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has teamed up with Idahoans for Openness in Government (IDOG) and the Idaho Press Club to help educate people about what is covered-and what is not-by the state's public records and open meetings laws. A workshop will be held on Friday, November 12, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express, Hunt Lodge, in McCall.

Designed for local officials, their staff, the media and the public, the workshop will present the public records law in a no-legalese format. Deputy Attorney General William von Tagen and Idaho Falls Post-Register Managing Editor Dean Miller will join Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in reviewing business-like requests and replies, how to handle non-productive exchanges, and answering questions.

"This collaborative effort with local government, IDOG and the Idaho Press Club continues the long-standing tradition of the Office of Attorney General working to educate Idahoans about our state's open meeting and public records laws," Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. "I hope that these workshops will lead to a common understanding of the basic rules for public records and open meetings."

Funding for the workshop comes from the National Freedom of Information Coalition through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Founded this year, IDOG joins similar coalitions in 40 states. Its board includes people from government, the media and civic organizations.

"Our purpose is to foster open government, supervised by an informed and engaged citizenry," IDOG President Betsy Russell said. "We all benefit when the public, the media and government officials are fully aware of the public's rights to access government information and observe the conduct of the public's business."

The McCall workshop is the second in a two-year series of workshops to be held around the state. The first was held in Idaho Falls on September 17. Future workshops will be announced as they are scheduled.
There is no charge for the session, and refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to Tom Grote, Publisher of the Star-News, at (208) 634-2123.

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