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Public Records

What Communities Are More Likely to Embrace Corporal Punishment? Let's Look at the Data

Shayna A. Pitre | Posted 11.24.2014 | Education
Shayna A. Pitre

On September 21, 2014, we sent a public records request to the Louisiana Department of Education, requesting the number of school corporal punishment incidents for the 2011-2014 school years. On October 29, 2014, we received the data. It was revealing.

A Bill to Regulate Oil Refineries Also Threatens Public Access Rights

Peter Scheer | Posted 11.12.2014 | Los Angeles
Peter Scheer

Ostensibly a bill to strengthen safety regulation of oil refineries, SB 1300 would eviscerate the state's freedom of information law. The original version of this legislation required oil companies to file reports on scheduled shutdowns, typically for maintenance, of their refinery facilities. So far, no problem. Then came last-minute amendments

Mayors Think They Can Avoid Disclosure Rules By Using Private Email Accounts for Government Business

Peter Scheer | Posted 04.13.2014 | Los Angeles
Peter Scheer

The public has lost patience with elected representatives who game the legal rules to avoid disclosure of information to which the public is entitled. We'll soon find out if the judiciary also has lost patience.

Freedom Of Information Not So Free -- Many States Charge Insane Fees

Civil Beat | Nick Grube | Posted 10.17.2013 | Politics

HONOLULU - When the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel received a $4,500 bill from the city’s police department for access to public crime data, the Pulitze...

The Exorbitant Cost Of Government Transparency In Hawaii

Civil Beat | Nathan Eagle | Posted 10.14.2013 | Politics

Neil Abercrombie’s job as Hawaii governor takes him around the world. Tourism meetings in Tokyo. A trade show in Los Angeles. A forum in Beijing....

Expect Your Conversations to Appear in Court

Brad Reid | Posted 04.01.2013 | Technology
Brad Reid

As technology progresses, what communications are considered public increases and correspondingly the private decreases.

Nursing Transparency in Former Soviet Republics

Kenneth F. Bunting | Posted 03.04.2013 | World
Kenneth F. Bunting

In this email response to the director of a freedom of information NGO in the Republic of Georgia, Giorgi Kldiashvili, civic-minded and engaged Americans may see little that is new to them. But, perhaps, it will serve as a reminder about the derivation of some of our precious freedoms.

The Jindal End Run: 'E' in 'Email' Should Not Stand for 'Evasion'

Kenneth F. Bunting | Posted 02.19.2013 | Media
Kenneth F. Bunting

To avoid possible disclosure, Jindal's top advisors used personal email accounts while devising a communications strategy regarding hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid cuts.

How Free Access to Big Data Could Change Future Elections

Turnstyle | Posted 01.06.2013 | Technology
Turnstyle

By Noah J. Nelson We've heard a lot about Big Data this election cycle. The Obama campaign alone stated that they contacted one out of every 2.5 vo...

Tea Party Favorite Threatened With Legal Action

The Huffington Post | John Celock | Posted 08.24.2012 | Politics

The Republican nominee for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat is being threatened with legal action by a Democratic super PAC for his decision to not answer requ...

Tea Party Favorite Blasted For 'Hyprocrisy'

The Huffington Post | John Celock | Posted 08.14.2012 | Politics

The Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Ohio is being criticized for his support of the federal Freedom of Information Act, following a series of dela...

Hurdles Block Important Access Laws

State Integrity Investigation | Caitlin Ginley | Posted 06.01.2012 | Politics

Early last month, lawmakers in Iowa completed work on a new open records statute. Senate File 430 creates the Iowa Public Information Board, a nine-me...

Presidential Candidates Hide Records

AP | STEPHEN BRAUN | Posted 01.30.2012 | Politics

WASHINGTON — In the final weeks of Mitt Romney's term as Massachusetts governor, a small team of aides combed through statehouse filing cabinets...

Nikki Haley Adopts Questionable Policy

The Huffington Post | Luke Johnson | Posted 11.22.2011 | Politics

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's (R) office has a policy of deleting some of its emails, potentially violating the state's public records law. Onl...

Public Records Helped Free Texas Man

Kenneth F. Bunting | Posted 12.06.2011 | Crime
Kenneth F. Bunting

If you care about good government and justice, now would be a good time to ask if the records that helped to free Michael Morton would be readily available under your state's public disclosure laws.

Jason Cherkis

Mitt Romney's Amazing Document Dump

HuffingtonPost.com | Jason Cherkis | Posted 07.24.2011 | Politics

For politicians, there is one time-tested method for thwarting public records requests: stall and stall and, when in doubt, stall. This January, fo...

Mike Huckabee's Secrecy Problem

Mother Jones | Siddhartha Mahanta | Posted 06.04.2011 | Politics

There's a Mike Huckabee mystery that won't go away. Send a public records request seeking documents from his 12-year stint as Arkansas governor, as...

Florida: Could Photo of Pigpen Get You 30 Years in the State Pen?

Scott Edwards | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Scott Edwards

Senator Norman's misguided bill is yet another attempt to keep a tight, dark lid on the many, many wrongs being committed today by the factory farming industry.

Sunshine Week: The Forecast is Mostly Cloudy

Kenneth F. Bunting | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Kenneth F. Bunting

Open government laws, in state after state, are being damaged and weakened, with increasing frequency, by new exclusions, loopholes and crazy exemptions that promote more secrecy and a lot less transparency.

Supreme Court Cameras: Senate Judiciary Committee OKs Bills To Allow Broadcast From Courts

AP | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court would televise many of its public sessions and cameras would be permitted in lower federal courts, at a judge's d...

Hustler Magazine Asks For Crime Scene Photos Of Slain Hiker

AP | SHANNON McCAFFREY | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media

ATLANTA — Authorities said Monday they will not give Hustler Magazine crime scene and autopsy photos of a woman who was slain while hiking in Ge...

States Consider Ban On Public Release Of 911 Calls

AP | DESIREE HUNTER | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Linda Casey dialed 911 and screamed, "Oh, God!" over and over again into the phone after finding her daughter beaten to death...