06/10/11 — Emails? Hmmm. Fight for access, good. But now, apply it fairly.

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Emails? Hmmm. Fight for access, good. But now, apply it fairly.

If you are for openness and honesty in government -- and you want to know, really, what your public officials are spending your money on -- you should applaud the release of 24,000 emails from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Public officials should have nothing to hide -- and this encourages them to remember that when they are serving the people. It also might encourage a little more honesty.

But what sticks in some people's craw -- and rightfully so -- is that the demand seems to be being applied unfairly. Where were the calls for the same openness from the Obama campaign? And why did it take Donald Trump throwing a public hissy fit for someone to get aggressive about "birth certificate-gate"?

One of the reasons voters are not sure they can trust the media is a perceived double standard. And this last election, many people thought then-candidate Barack Obama, himself a relative newcomer to leadership, was given too many passes and not enough tough examination.

And now, two years later, a fight has ended and we have access to emails.

But there are a few other emails many of us would like to see -- communications between members of the Democratic leadership and perhaps some of the campaign communications by President Obama as he prepares for his next run.

The fact that we can see emails is a good thing. It is a victory for public openness and accountability.

But when it comes time for another presidential election -- or when somebody gets serious about looking at who knew what when -- Americans should expect the same vigilance and many more questions.

That is certainly the only fair way to handle this sort of inquiry.

Published in Editorials on June 10, 2011 10:48 AM