Major newspapers in California have rallied behind the Contra Costa Times’ public records lawsuit against Oakland, arguing in a friend of the court brief that knowing exact salary for government employees is an essential part of democracy, the Times reports. What the government pays its employees “cries out for public scrutiny,” the brief states. Those signing the brief include the California Newspaper Publishers Association; the San Jose Mercury News; the Los Angeles Times; the McClatchy Co., publisher of the Sacramento Bee; the Copley Press, publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune; and the Hearst Corp., publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Contra Costa Times sued Oakland in July after the city turned down the newspaper’s public records petition for the names and salaries of all employees to whom the city paid more than $100,000 in 2003.

SF Press Club News

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