Friday, October 24, 2008
by Pete Kotz
on Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 2:10 PM
no one beats the Palin administration
Since her nomination, news agencies have bombed the governor’s office with records requests. In Alaska, this is ot considered good form. But instead of being a nice little maverick and providing people what they’re entitled to, Palin has gone the opposite direction, asking for enormous fees to drive away inquiring minds.
Writes Bill Dedman on MSNBC.com:
The price quotes reveal that Palin's office has repeatedly tried to charge different news organizations the cost to reconstruct the same e-mail accounts of the governor, her senior staff and other employees. Each time an e-mail is requested, the office quotes the same cost of $960.31 for 13 hours to recover and search each employee's e-mails.
NBC's price quote for e-mails sent to Todd Palin: $15 million.
The AP's price for e-mails between state employees and the campaign headquarters of Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain: $15 million.
And the AP again, for e-mails between state employees and the National Park Service (on polar bears, wolves and other topics): $15 million.
I don’t know about you, but this sound very unmavericky to me – and possibly un-American.
One of the most frustrating things about being a reporter is dealing with “public servants.” Though they use the “servant” thing liberally, few could pass the journeyman’s test for the International Brotherhood of Maids & Butlers. The most frustrating thing: Even though we pay for government, they don’t actually believe we’re entitled to know anything about government -- unless we pay extra.
Think of it as buying stock in GE, then having GE charge an additional fee just to see how your stock is performing.
It’s not really an ideological thing. In all-Democratic Cleveland, where I recently worked, it was easier to backstroke across Lake Erie than get basic information from city and county. Here in Tennessee, the Bredesen administration is entertaining thoughts of charging residents escalating fees based on the size of the info requested. But for pure shamelessness,