A champion for information

December 31, 2013 

In response to a recent letter criticizing letter writer Bob DesPain, of Collinsville: I have nothing but respect and admiration for DesPain. If he does have an agenda, would making government more transparent and accountable be a bad agenda?

I consider DesPain a true pioneer in the battle for access to public information. He has no hidden agenda that I can see -- except opening the door for the rest of us. DesPain is driven by the truth and his relentless desire to hold public officials fiscally accountable.

The difference between DesPain and most people is that he doesn't go to one meeting, raise the roof, then just go home. No, he verifies statements, researches facts, does his homework, then returns to the next meeting with new list of relevant questions.

Those following the rule of law should have few concerns when DesPain knocks on their door. They should be smart and invite him in. Ask not only about his concerns, but demand his suggested remedy. Only then can real differences be resolved.

If you ask me, we all owe DesPain our gratitude. With passion, purpose and due diligence, he has waged a battle for openness and transparency Does it make him the most popular kid in school? Not always.

I extend a humble, sincere thanks to Despain. A simple thank you is probably more than he would want for himself.

Bradley W. VanHoose

Belleville

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