JACKSON — Here’s a quick interview with attorney Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour about openness in government:
Q: What does transparency in government mean to you? When should access be limited or denied?
A: "Clearly when you’re talking about legal cases, when you’re talking about personnel, when you’re talking about competitive bidding situations where, quote, ‘openness in government’ would let one bidder know what the other bidder is doing or how they’re trying to achieve something – I mean, those are some very obvious ways that it would be unfair and inappropriate to have it spread all over the newspaper.
"As governor, I can tell you I don’t want the people who advise me to change or subdue their advice to me because they’re worried it will show up in the newspaper. And that’s why we have the doctrine of executive privilege, so that presidents and governors can get unfettered and unfiltered advice from a variety of sources, and I think that’s also very important.
"Being a top of mind response without thinking about it any further, I’m generally comfortable with whatever else being open. I mean, how we spend our money, obviously, the public’s got to know that. They’ve got a perfect right to know that."