WASHINGTON – United States Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) is the recipient of the 2008 James Madison Award, presented by the American Library Association to honor those who, at the national level, have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information.
“His work in the United States Senate to promote the public’s right to know has been extensive and effective,” said ALA President Loriene Roy in her opening remarks. “In short, he has put his money where his mouth is on open government legislation and his record reflects just that.”
Sen. Feingold supported the OPEN Government Act of 2007, which became law on December 31, 2007, and he has introduced or co-sponsored several pieces of open government legislation, including the National Security Letters Reform Act of 2007; the Lobbying, Ethics, and Earmarks Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007; and the Federal Agency Data Mining Reporting Act of 2007.
“It is an honor to extend the congratulations and sincerest gratitude of the American Library Association to Senator Russ Feingold,” Dr. Roy concluded, “a true public servant for openness and public disclosure of government information during his long and distinguished career.”
Freedom of Information (FOI) Day is an annual event on or near March 16, the birthday of James Madison. Madison is widely regarded as the Father of the Constitution and as the foremost advocate for openness in government. 2008 marks the 42nd anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act, and the 19th year that ALA has presented the James Madison Award.