Follow me and the Tennessee Department of Revenue down the open records rabbit hole.

Bill Hobbs notes that the Associated Press was stonewalled recently by the Tennessee Department of Revenue, and that it’s the second time this year they’ve misread the law.

The first time, they declared that they weren’t going to give public records to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR) on the grounds that it is not a “legitimate group”.

That assessment of TCPR by the Tennessee Department of Revenue has had, and still has, legs in some parts of the blogosphere. When TCPR sent out a press release in March based on Al Gore’s home energy consumption claiming he was an energy hypocrite, the Tennessee Department of Revenue’s assessment of TCPR as “illegitimate” became part of the story.

This blogger, for instance relies on a quote from an e-mail written about TCPR and its president Drew Johnson by the Tennessee Department of Revenue in order to draw the conclusion that:

He’s a well-known right-wing sociopath/gadfly.

This Huffington Post piece also draws on what the Tennessee Department of Revenue said about TCPR in response to TCPR’s open records request by way of discrediting TCPR.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue’s assertion that it didn’t have to give public documents to TCPR because it is not legitimate also shows up here.

And here too.

Reading all those blog posts, I think I’ve learned something valuable. Stay with me on this.

Media Matters for America reports that Drew Johnson of TCPR was once a Fellow at the Institute for Humane Studies.

My husband is on the board of the Institute for Humane Studies.

Perhaps even more significantly, Drew Johnson and I are friends on Facebook.

As I mull this over, I have concluded that:

  • Since I am married to someone who sits on the board of an organization that Drew Johnson was once attached to,
  • Since we know from the Tennessee Department of Revenue that TCPR and Drew are illegitimate,
  • Since illegitimacy is crippling and contagious,
  • Since I once worked for a newspaper that took Associated Press feeds (admittedly, only typing classified ads),
  • Since I am, ergo, on the wrong side and since I support the AP’s contention that the Department of Revenue ought to hand over those documents,
  • And since the Tennessee Department of Revenue’s beliefs about organizations are clearly credible, I disagree with them, and my associations are highly suspicious,
  • The Tennessee Department of Revenue therefore does not have to give the requested documents to the Associated Press.
  • I learned a lot when I took Relevance Logic in graduate school.  It’s been enormously helpful to me in understanding these situations.

    Advertisements

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s