160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! This kind of clamping down isn’t just a threat to journalism. It’s a threat to our very way of life. A government operating in secret threatens our free and open democracy. CALIFORNIA leads the nation in many ways. But one of them is not, sadly, in the openness of our government. The Associated Press surveyed the access to public records and proceedings across the nation, as part of Sunshine Week activities, and found that California does a poor job – worse than other states, such as Connecticut and Kentucky. Governmental agencies in the Golden State regularly shut the public out of their proceedings and make documents inaccessible. The study points to Hollywood, Silicon Valley and public-employee unions as the biggest culprits, using their influence to shut down traditional access to government information. This has real ramifications. At the moment, the state Supreme Court is considering an argument that salaries of public employees should be secrets from the people who pay them – the public.