Dispatch Editor Benjamin Marrison used his Sunday column to decry the decrease in access to public records in Ohio over the past few years. He writes, “Based on what I heard from many of you, you’re fired up that state lawmakers are continuing to keep public information from you.”
Marrison never mentions the most basic journalistic question: WHO did this? WHO is responsible for the fact that people and the media are increasingly unable to access public records? (It’s the first question in the classic “Who? What? Where? When? Why?)
Readers are left to ponder how this happened and who is responsible.
It’s like we woke up one day and – POOF – our access to public records disappeared.
Here is our theory pitch:
Terrorists took over the State House and demanded that access to public records would be restricted until Ohio officials arranged the release of the seven members of the New Provo Front in Ireland, the five imprisoned leaders of Liberte de Quebec in Canada, and the nine members of the Asian Dawn movement in Sri Lanka. A Highway Patrol spokesperson said, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.”
Seriously, at Plunderbund we know WHO really did this. And we aren’t afraid to tell you.
Republican Governor John Kasich and his Republican allies in the Legislature are responsible for restricting our access to public records. The Republicans who voted to keep JobsOhio records from the public eye are responsible for the greatest exception to the principal of open records and government ever created.
If the Dispatch is mad as Hell and not going to take it any more, why not do something about it? Plunderbund has sued for access to public records TWICE (link, link) since Kasich took office. Even ESPN has filed a public records suit over these past few years. The Dispatch, in contrast, has not filed any lawsuits challenging the greater restrictions on public access by its Republican friends.