Although Attorney General McCollum is the elected official charged with enforcing Florida's open government laws, multiple news reports show that McCollum has attempted to hide his own public schedule by charging hundreds of dollars to view this public information.
The Palm Beach Post and the Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times Tallahassee Bureau reported over the weekend that AG McCollum refused to release his public schedule without charging reporters $770 and claiming that "secret information" would have to be purged, taking at least a week. (Palm Beach Post, 6/26/09; Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times, 6/27/09)
"It is clear that Bill McCollum is trying to hide from the taxpayers of Florida by charging ridiculous fees just to view his public schedule," said Eric Jotkoff, spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party. "Sadly, instead of enforcing the sunshine laws, 32-year politician Bill McCollum is breaking them, denying Floridians the open, transparent government we deserve."
Florence Snyder, a lawyer with Florida's First Amendment Foundation called McCollum's claim "transparent nonsense" in the Palm Beach Post. Snyder said: "That sort of speaks to itself to the seriousness in which Gen. McCollum's staff takes transparency."
Proving that he thinks he's above the rules, in a December 2008 release, transparency hypocrite Bill McCollum called on local governments, sheriffs and school districts to enhance access to information, stating "Open government is not only good government; it is the right of the tax-paying public."
McCollum's disdain for the Sunshine Laws was made clear several months ago, when McCollum attempted to hide some documents related to his ad campaign that did more to promote himself than public safety. McCollum only released the documents after repeated demands by the Florida Democratic Party, and after it was made clear to the Attorney General that we were prepared to file a complaint with the State Attorney.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
AG McCollum Attempts to Hide Schedule, Proves He's a Transparency Hypocrite
Posted by Professor Rex at 5:42 PM