In response to a request we filed at the end of January under the Freedom of Access Act for documents related to Governor LePage’s so-called Regulatory “Reform” Proposals, the LePage Administration has stated that it would not provide any documents generated during the transition period for the new Administration, but only those documents generated after the January 5 inauguration. The announcement is in direct conflict with Maine’s Freedom of Access Act and relevant court decisions.
CLF seeks documents related not only to the proposals which threaten to eviscerate four decades of laws and regulations that benefit both the environment and economy of Maine, but also documents related to the “red tape” meetings organized by the Administration and business interest groups in December and January and the nomination of DEP Commissioner Darryl Brown.
“If they didn’t consult with Mr. Brown on these proposals, the vast majority of which are directed at the department he was to lead, then who did they consult with?” asked Sean Mahoney, director of CLF Maine. “It appears to us by the nature of many of these proposals and the document itself, that many of the proposals represent the wish list not from Maine residents or businesses, but out-of-state corporations and trade organizations.”
The Administration’s position is not only counter to its professed goals of transparency and putting people before politics but is legally unsupportable under the clear language of Maine’s Freedom of Access Act and as interpreted by the courts. If they fail to change their position, CLF will take the fight for transparency and full disclosure to the courts. More >