Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Unexpected support

Republicans, for once, are not on the same page. It appears that the current governor of Vermont, Jim Douglas, a Republican, is coming to Howard Dean's defense on the issue of unsealing his gubernatorial records:

(Douglas) "I don't know there's any reason to feel there's any smoking gun or anything really incriminating or exciting in governor Dean's records. I think it's a matter of curiosity now on the part of the media and his opponents."

(Kinzel) In 1990, as secretary of State, Douglas negotiated a six-year agreement with Governor Madeleine Kunin as she prepared to leave office. Douglas says he believes that allowing governors to seal their papers preserves a more accurate historical record for the future:

(Douglas) "Ideally there would be no closure period but to be perfectly honest, my sense was that governors were more likely to leave more complete records of their administrations if there was a period of closure. There was less likely to be a sanitizing of the records and so the historic record would be more complete and that would be more beneficial to researchers over time. So I thought it was a small price to pay to have a brief period of closure, after which the record of the gubernatorial tenure would be more complete."

(Kinzel) Douglas says he's not sure what the appropriate time frame is for a governor to seal their records. He says a six-year period was chosen for Madeleine Kunin because she had been in office for that amount of time.

Using that standard, Dean's records should be sealed for 11 years.

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