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For Immediate Release
For further information Contact:
July 9, 2002
Kathleen Benson 703-753-3334
Frank Silbey   202-639-4494
Moss Foundation To Honor Obey With Public Service Award
     Washington, D.C. -- The John E. Moss Foundation today will award its annual "John E. Moss Public Service Award" to Rep. David Obey (D-WI-7th).  Moss, for whom the Foundation was named, represented Sacramento, California in Congress from 1953-78, and was the chief author of the Freedom of Information Act.  The chairman of the Foundation's Congressional Advisory Committee, Congressman Bob Matsui, currently represents Sacramento in the Congress.

Given to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) last year, the Moss award is presented to a former or sitting member of the House or Senate who has demonstrated integrity, courage and dedication to the public interest.

As part of the awards event, a member of the Foundation board, Paul McMasters, will speak on "The Freedom of Information Act:  Protecting Both Democracy and Security."  McMasters, a national authority on the First Amendment and freedom of information, will present an overview of access and secrecy issues that have arisen since September 11 and as part of the war on terrorism.

Noting that Congressman David Obey (D-WI-7th) "exemplifies the ideals of integrity, courage, independence and dedication to the public interest that John Moss stood for," Congressman John D. Dingell will present Obey with the Award at a Foundation meeting on Capitol Hill.  "During Rep. Obey's 32 years in Congress, he has compiled an unparalleled record of service to these values and the public," said Patrick McLain, President of the Moss Foundation.

In making the award, the Moss Foundation notes that Obey has:

  • Been a leading voice for a worker's right to know about hazardous chemical exposures in the workplace, for the community's right to know about asbestos in the schools; for the public's right to know what Congress is doing in Committee markups; and for disclosure of the economic interests members of the House may have in the outcome of legislation on which they are voting;
  • Championed the cause of the most vulnerable in our society: the elderly; low income families; children; those afflicted by cancer, diabetes, and mental illness; small farmers, HMO patients;
  • Pushed for reform in campaign finance, honesty in budgeting, ethics in government, and reforms to prevent abuse of the "appropriations rider" process;
  • Courageously opposed politically popular tax cuts that he believed would deepen national debt, burden future generations, and bestow unfair benefit on the most wealthy portion of society;
  • Insisted on appropriate consultation with Congress in the prosecution of the war on Al Qaeda and the Taliban, despite legitimate public outrage over the terrorist actions of 9-11.
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