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Outside Voices: A legacy of fairness

Philadelphia Inquirer, Aug. 27: The passing of Sen. Edward Moore “Teddy” Kennedy has silenced the greatest liberal voice of the past 50 years and drawn the curtain on an epic generation of a political dynasty.

In 47 years in the Senate, Kennedy passed more than 300 laws. Among them are the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which made public places more accessible to the disabled, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program of 1997, which funded the largest expansion of health insurance coverage for children since the 1960s. The COBRA Act of 1985, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, gave workers the ability to continue health insurance after leaving employment. And Title IX opened up college sports to young women.

For millions of Americans, Ted Kennedy made this country a fairer and better place to live.

Detroit Free Press, Aug. 27: Kennedy believed that the very essence of government responsibility was to solve social ills through bold strokes, and he never apologized for the size or cost of his ideas.

Dallas Morning News, Aug. 27: Sen. Kennedy’s flaws were great, but his public- spiritedness was greater. On this day, whatever your politics, take a moment to think about what that generation of the Kennedy family has meant to our country. Their role in the political and cultural history of our time is monumental.

Sacramento Bee, Aug. 27: Although he was often seen by friend and foe alike as a die-hard liberal, Kennedy actually worked across party lines to collaborate with Republicans on most of the major legislation he shepherded through the Senate.

Kennedy never lost sight of the fact that idealism and commitment are no substitute for getting things done.

Charlotte Observer, Aug. 27: While widely regarded in the first decades of his life as the least capable of the Kennedy brothers, in the end his legacy was that he had a greater political and policy impact than any of the others.

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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.