The big news in open records circles today is that a lawsuit has been launched against the Republican Governor of Missouri, Matt Blunt, alleging that his top aides ordered staffers “to break the law by destroying copies of government e-mails so they wouldn’t ever become public”.
The lawsuit is civil; the plaintiff is an independent investigative team set up by Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon.
It’s been a bad few weeks for statewide constitutional officers in the e-mail department. In stories we’ve been covering, Democratic Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann seems to be on the verge of being forced out of office because of e-mail woes.
North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley was in trouble earlier this week because of something that sounds extremely similar to what Blunt’s office did in Missouri, but that story has been chased off the front page by yet another exciting and thrilling event in our nation’s long walk to November: The Pansy Remark, which at last count had been mentioned in 3,932 online news articles, about 3,922 more than have mentioned the e-mail problem.
Update: Another charming and confidence-inspiring open records action from a governor, this time Chet Culver of Iowa, who wants state agencies to start charging to have government lawyers review documents requested under Iowa’s open-records law.