February 9, 2007

Governor refuses to share information
with taxpayers who paid for it

Well, you learn something new every day.  Who knew that the governor is not subject to the public records law?

Governor Deval Patrick – an employee of the taxpayers of Massachusetts – very publicly announced on January 18 that he was asking his department heads – also employees of the taxpayers – to submit suggestions for savings in their taxpayer-funded budgets.

On the date of their deadline, the State House News Service asked for copies of those suggestions, and was refused.  On January 31, Citizens for Limited Taxation mailed a public records request to the Governor.  Today we received a refusal to share the public information.  Is there something there to hide?

A copy of that refusal is available on our website.  We were referred to a Supreme Judicial Court decision, “Lambert v. Executive Director of the Judicial Nominating Council,” which the governor claims exempts the Office of the Governor from the public records law.

It is true that things relating to the judiciary are not subject to the public records law.  The governor’s office seems to be extending that decision to apply to ALL activities of the governor’s office.  Nice try.

We beg to differ from this overly broad interpretation, and will be filing an appeal with the Office of Public Records.  With discussion of a billion dollar deficit, and the governor stating on the Eagan-Braude radio program (WTKK-FM 96.9) that the commonwealth will need more revenue, we think it is vital that the public be given all information necessary to help the governor, who invited us all to participate in his open administration.

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