Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Roundhouse mystery"

Journal reporter Jeff Jones spins quite a tale; link.

House Majority Leader W. Ken Martinez, D-Grants,

introduced a bill that would have shortened the time that state
agencies could take to comply with public records requests;
from 15 days down to 10.

The bill also settled the question of whether or not emails and
faxes were acceptable means of submitting requests.
Incredibly, there is a record of public servants refusing
to accept public records requests if the requests were emailed
or faxed to them.

The original bill was replaced by another, by a process
which was not made clear in the Journal report.

An allegagator tells me that Martinez had grown tired of a discussion and said something like; OK, you write something then.

So "they" did. "They" wrote a substitute bill that would
effectively gut the Inspection of Public Records Act.

According to the Journal,
Kip Purcell of the Foundation for Open Government

"The bill would almost define 'public records' out of existence,"
"In short, it would be a disaster for the cause of open and honest government."
And no one seems to know, or will admit,
whose bright idea it was;
to put an end to public records access.

If this does not build a case for transparent government,
what does?

photo Mark Bralley

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