A tip of the hat to today’s Democrat-Gazette article by Seth Blomeley about e-mails he rounded up under the FOI that illustrated the governor’s successful political strategy to pass new anti-smoking legislation. (Whatever you do, don’t call it anti-smoking; call it pro-clean air.)
Imagine if we could read the governor’s e-mail on the banning of the Arkansas Times from public press services. Think it might be zesty? (Whatever you do, don’t call it anti-press. Call it pro-something, just what we can’t imagine.) We contend that many of these documents actually are not covered by the working papers exemption of the FOI, particularly those generated by staffers in the performing of ministerial functions to carry out decisions already made. The governor’s office doesn’t see it this way, naturally. Blomeley was able to get internal e-mails because they were in the hands of other state agencies, which do not enjoy the working papers exemption, even if the mail comes from the governor.