Friday, March 19, 2010

Martinez backs off, Denish adds new twist to obfuscation of records requests.

The Journal reports this morning, that District Attorney Susana Martinez will back off her stand against allowing people viewing public records, to make their own copies of the records.

This will save the Democrat Party up to 50 cents per copy; the original demand was for 1 dollar per page, although the law allows only the actual copying cost to passed along to the person requesting copies.

In a related development, Lt Gov Diane Denish is "responding" to a records request from Allen Weh. His request is taking a long time to process because, according to Denish, it is "excessively burdensome". It is also taking a long time because Denish is taking time to "over redact" the records.

Some public records should not be made public for good and ethical reasons. The redaction process is clear. Most often, it is only a small part of the record which enjoys exception under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act . That small part can be, and should be, redacted; normally a black line through a name or some other specific and distinct information.

Denish has invented her own exception. According to the Journal, she argues that if a record contains information that is "non responsive to the request", but enjoys no other exception, it can be redacted as well. She is writing her own public records law.

Exceptions to the Act are clear, link, and do not include redacting parts of records which are "non responsive to the request". If the request were worded differently, the parts she wants to redact, could not be redacted because they are not protected under exceptions to the law.

There is no reason to redact "non-responsive" parts of records except to further delay the surrender of public records. All public records, whether they are "responsive" to a specific request or not, are still public records, and are still subject to surrender to public knowledge.

The simple proof; when the dust settles on this nonsense,
a request for public records could be filed. It would read,
opportunity to inspect and/or copy all public records
which were redacted according to the "non responsive"

The request would yield records which were formerly redacted but could not now be redacted, because they do not fall within any exception provided for under the law.

Denish is gaming the system in order to circumvent the law,
and, she would like to be the next Governor.

Haven't we had enough Governors who game the system
to avoid accountability to the law?

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