Terry Francke's new organization CalAware
Terry Francke quit the California First Amendment Coalition last March. So did Executive Director Kent Pollock, and past President Rich McKee. Respected open government advocate Francke had been CFAC's general counsel for 14 years, and counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association for ten years before that.
The CNPA Bulletin reported at the time (3/22/04, CFAC undergoing changes),
"'With the loss of Terry Francke, the California First Amendment Coalition loses much of its attraction for me. As an activist working closely with Terry for the past 11 years, he’s the resource that I’ve relied on,” McKee explained last week. “There’s a lot more to this than simply Terry’s leaving ... a lack of understanding by the board of directors ... and a completely different view of how to accomplish our mission.' "
CFAC is primarily a coalition of seven newspaper, radio, and television journalism organizations. Francke resigned to organize a new public interest group, Californians Aware: the Center for Public Forum Rights. The Bulletin said,
" 'I’d like to try out some ways and means of doing things, getting attention to the efforts that CFAC’s involved in from an independent base that allows a little more flexibility and inclusiveness,' Francke said. 'What I’m talking about is have a more integral presence on our board of directors of at least a few individuals' from the public sector who can provide insights into the challenges that government agencies face in providing more open government."
Time will tell whether CalAware is a better public watchdog than CFAC. Go here to learn about Terry Francke's new organization: http://www.calaware.org/index.jsp.
McKee pointed to "a lack of understanding" by CFAC directors, and Francke called for an "independent base" and "more flexibility and inclusiveness". According to the list of directors at its website, CFAC's president-elect is Paul Gullixson, Assistant Editorial Director of the Press Democrat, who works for Editorial Director Pete Golis and Publisher Mike Parman. Press Democrat Managing Editor Bob Swofford is also a CFAC director.