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Column | Open government shouldn’t take lawyers

A former state lawmaker’s fight for COVID-19 data illustrates the ways government all too often keeps public information private, our Capitol Columnist writes.


Gov. Ron DeSantis holding a news conference about COVID-19 treatments at a Florida Department of Health office in 2021.


One of the few little lessons I’ve gleaned in more than a half century reporting on government and politics is that whenever somebody says, “It’s not that simple,” we should stop right there and look at the facts.

About nine times out of 10, whatever we’re quibbling about really is that simple.

Sure, there are two sides to any argument. But very few things in public affairs are so complex that one side doesn’t plainly outweigh the other.

Consider, for instance, public records and access to government meetings. “Government in the Sunshine,” as we call it in Florida, really is that simple.


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