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
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
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
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.