I was reading this interesting article on some journalists testing the state of Florida’s Open Government laws, by having volunteers ask for certain documents under the law. All the documents were perfectly eligable to be viewed by anyone under their state laws. Further, anonymity is guaranteed, you don’t have to identify yourself to view public records. An excellent law.
Anyway, only 57% of the various groups responded appropriately. Cynic that I am, this is WAY higher than I thought it would be. However, the remaining 43% resorted to delaying tactics, lies, and threats as their replies. And then had to justify their actions before the public. Fucking excellent.
My favourite bit of the article, however, is the best, most poker-faced piece of journalism I’ve read so far this year. It’s the last sentence in this excerpt:
In a post-audit interview, Taylor County Superintendent Oscar Howard said his district was hesitant to produce his cell phone bill because the volunteer wouldn’t give his name.
“He could have been a terrorist,” Howard said. “We have to ensure the safety of children.”
Howard couldn’t explain how a terrorist might use his cell phone bill to harm children.
Ahhh-hahhaha! I can almost picture the grins on the faces of Chris Davis and Matthew Doig when they wrote that.
Won’t somebody THINK of the CHILDREN!