e-mail and public records

Posted: March 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

THIS concerns me.

First – a little history. I worked in a Records unit for 5 years. That records unit was a state government records unit. The best one in state government as far as I was concerned. I had worked for the mighty DNRC Water Rights Records Unit as the lead scanner. I had come from DEQ before that with 4 years under my belt. Another water position – another scanning position. In BOTH positions – I was micro-managed right OUT of my mind.

Alas – that is another story – and I digress……

Throughout my micromanagement within these 2 departments I had ONE thing DRILLED into my head. e-mail is public record – and NOT to be trifled with. It was their biggest leverage for punishment department wide in both. The slightest infraction would be drug out upon any “issues” within department.

It’s how they kept us IN LINE – as invariably SOMEONE would get an e-mail from home – or get added to a spammer list. And how hearts would flutter if they got a RED HAND. One gal 15 years my senior had an all day long anxiety attack over a red hand she got one day online working.

Actually – from a Human Resources standpoint – it was a very efficient “tool”.

Probably why state government allows our elected officials to maintain their private accounts for legislative work. Probably why the county wants to delete everything after 60 days. Probably why attorneys will and SHOULD object at any and all costs.

It’s a great way to destroy evidence – all with the push of one little button. Well – three if you know how to do it correctly……

POINT – Our Governor isn’t the only shifty boot politician out there. Legislators have openly bragged about deleting 1300 e-mails at a time on an issue they didn’t agree with – without even reading them. They just “knew what they were about – and they were a “form letter” so I don’t have to read them” (or pay attention).

What else happens in the private e-mail addys of said shifty boot politicians?

Well – taxpayers and voters – we’ll NEVER know. Our elected officials use private e-mail addresses for state government work. As far as I know they have NO requirements (how could the state possibly govern them?) to share their e-mails. They sure as hell would have to if they were an employee of our great state though. They would be public record.

WHY are e-mail accounts of ELECTED officials governing our state with PRIVATE e-mail accounts. Christ – I had to have special permission and software to access my state govt e-mail from HOME!

I suspect there is some pretty  shady business going on out there folks. We have to do something about it.

How hard would THEY fight against HAVING to use a state government e-mail address? Having same rules as mere employees?

I say we get a bill in for next session requiring FULL exposure – and immediate assignment and usage of state e-mail upon election. FULL DISCLOSURE as per state e-mail rules now. They might actually get something done and have to be HONEST!


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