Nixon wins! Nixon wins! Nixon wins!

We extend heartiest congratulations to Governor Nixon for winning the national Golden Padlock Award. We’re looking forward to seeing it proudly displayed on his desk the next time we’re in his office. National recognition is not easily achieved in any field but our own Jay Nixon has brought it to the Missouri Governor’s office.
The fact that this is an award offered by a national journalists’ group is significant. The long history of antagonistic relationships between press and power has produced pats on the back for public figures from the news media. But this award will add an entirely new section to the Jay Nixon Gubernatorial Library and Museum when it’s built in Hillsboro.
The Investigative Reporters and Editors started last year giving the Golden Padlock trophy last year to the “most secretive government agency or individual in the United States.” Golden Padlock award committee chairman Robert Crib says, “Being named the most secretive government agencies amid competition this fierce requires an unwavering commitment to undermining the public’s right to know. The creativity and innovation behind their cloak and dagger efforts have distinguished them for this unique honor.”
In truth, Governor Nixon is only a co-winner. He shares the individual padlock with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. We believe, however, that the IRE has erred in having our Governor share the award and should have relegated Fallin to a runner-up position if it had considered a broader record of secrecy and lack of cooperation with those who believe the public is intelligent enough to deal with information about government.
IRE recognizes Nixon and Fallin for the extraordinary efforts both states have made to “protect” the public from knowing where the states get the drug used for executions, who compounds it, who administers it, and what the credentials are of those who provide these services. Five news organizations have filed lawsuits challenging the secrecy policy in Missouri.
We believe, as you know, that if the Nixon administration record of controlling information and denying access to people with expertise in various fields ranging from employment to healthcare had been considered, the scales would have been tipped in our Governor’s favor. But it’s okay to share the national spotlight.
Incidentally, the organization award wen to the United States Navy Freedom of Information office for its distinguished work in blocking access to records about a deadly shooting rampage at the Washington, D.C. Navy yard that killed a dozen people.
Jay Nixon, Mary Fallin, the U. S. Navy.
Missouri is not among the nation’s elite in so many categories. Aren’t we proud to be at the top of this one?
Or is this one of those categories where we’d rather be where are in so many others: 40-something?
You don’t need to answer that question.

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