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(Say Anything)   Blogger submits open records request; North Dakota legislature responds with emergency legislation   (sayanythingblog.com) divider line 32
    More: Weird, North Dakota Legislative Assembly, North Dakota, legislation, Sam Adams Alliance, emergency, House Majority Leader  
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14391 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Jan 2013 at 9:03 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-17 08:42:48 AM
No, by all means continue to protect the oil lobby. Al Carlson is the same guy who doubled down and pushed through a state law keeping the Sioux nickname at UND after the State Board and most of the voting public was polling to let it go (at the insistence of the NCAA, of course). Wasted a lot of state time and money in doing so. He is the face of the firmly-entrenched state republican-big oil mafia.

There is a lot of money flowing through this state from Big Oil. It doesn't surprise me that he wants to keep everything under wraps and surprises me even less that this particular blogger is willing to lick his boots (and self-aggrandizingly point it out). Enjoy your 15 seconds, Rob, and keep herping that derp, Al.
 
mjg
2013-01-17 09:11:58 AM
Well done Rob!
 
2013-01-17 09:15:36 AM
I disagree with the blogger... Comments made to a public forum directed at a public official should be public.
 
2013-01-17 09:20:44 AM
I actually agree with Carlson's legislation. The comments posted in this system by lobbyists and private citizens probably should be closed records. I, like Carlson, agree that the system is a wonderful thing and that we should want people tracking legislation without fear that what they're tracking, and what comments they're posting, might be made public.
But they can't even subject the question to a full debate?


What on earth is your point, then? You make an open records request and then argue that the same system you want to have access to should be closed and private? Is this cognitive dissonance? Concern trolling?
 
2013-01-17 09:27:02 AM
I support the unification of the Dakotas and the end of the Dakota war.
 
2013-01-17 09:29:42 AM
Unpossible. All I've ever heard from ND residents is how uncorrupt Best Dakota's government is.
 
2013-01-17 09:30:04 AM
Midwest people problems
 
2013-01-17 09:31:40 AM

HindiDiscoMonster: I disagree with the blogger... Comments made to a public forum directed at a public official should be public.


I'm not sure, that's a pretty fine line to walk. The government's business should be open to all, but should the activities of private citizens rise to that level? They're not talking about comments like here attached to the bottom of a bill, they're talking about the activities of private citizens who are using the transparency features they've added to the web. I mean, it's one thing to know when a lobbyist gives your rep a nice little chunk of change, but it's something completely different when you're trying to find out every political view and interest of Joe Blow just because he happens to be taking advantage of the ND state website.

Let's say I'm tracking some bill related to, I dunno, horse processing plants is a popular one these days. If I send a comment to the legislature saying "I think this should pass so that there's a humane way to handle horses who are at the end of their life" and track the bill to see what's being done, do I really want every wackjob PETA freak seeing what I've said and tracking me down to protest my office or whatever? Especially since the comments contain personally verifiable information - you have to register for the state login system, which requires name, address, email, and phone number.

I'm all for keeping an eye on what the politicians are up to, but I'd rather not have any random asshole who can draft a FOIA request know what my politics are.
 
2013-01-17 09:32:48 AM
I, like Carlson, agree that the system is a wonderful thing and that we should want people tracking legislation without fear that what they're tracking, and what comments they're posting, might be made public.

I don't understand this, especially in regards to lobbyists.
 
2013-01-17 09:42:13 AM
 I suspect legislators know that lobbyists are going to use that comment section to love-bomb their favorite pieces of legislation and don't want themselves or their sponsors to get caught. This sort of thing happens all the time in less-critical areas of our society. Just check out the reviews section at imdb. Every time Hollywood craps out some POS, by-the numbers movies like The Zookeeper or an Adam Sandler abomination, the first five pages of comments are: "i loved it! Good family movie! I'm going to see it again and again!"
 
2013-01-17 09:47:55 AM

NutWrench: What on earth is your point, then? You make an open records request and then argue that the same system you want to have access to should be closed and private? Is this cognitive dissonance? Concern trolling?



I read it as alerting them to the loophole in a way they can't ignore.

For example, if one of your clients consistently uses a close variant of the word "password" as their password, you can yell until you're blue in the face and they'll just laugh at you. But if you send them a hard-copy printout of one of their emails, within the hour they'll have a password that exceeds DoD security standards.

In this guy's case, he's forcing them to close the loophole before some lobbyist or corporation has a chance to get those comments in order to intimidate voters with different opinions (assuming the comments have identifying data attached).
 
2013-01-17 09:47:57 AM

HindiDiscoMonster: I disagree with the blogger... Comments made to a public forum directed at a public official should be public.


And they are in North Dakota, where the state's freedom of information bill says that "all records of a public entity are public records." Would North Dakota be forced to comply with the records request even if they pass this emergency legislation, or could it be applied retroactively?
 
2013-01-17 09:55:05 AM

HindiDiscoMonster: I disagree with the blogger... Comments made to a public forum directed at a public official should be public.


Absolutely. But, I applaud what this blogger has done.

I moved to a city of near 90k people in 2007. Believe it or not, local access was not covering City Council or School Committee. There was just one newspaper on the beat. Some councilors were trying to attach stipulations to releasing the funds from the cable franchise agreement and for allowing cameras to be installed in the council chambers. Some of those stipulations were illegal, some just silly (like no unflattering shots, names must be below all councilors etc). I got wind of when the discussion would be taking place from two of the councilors with whom I was in agreement on the issue. It was a public meeting, and knowing about Massachusetts open meeting law, I figured I should just bring my camera. There was no need to ask permission.

I posted the video of the cable advisory sub-committee meeting un-edited and without commentary on my web site, and to this day, I still cover City Council because the cable access corp. still thinks they're bound to only airing the meetings twice after they're broadcast live, and to some other rules that should not be enforceable. School Committee meetings are now covered live on cable, as well. For a while, I had a volunteer video those for me.

I have a day job, otherwise, I'd be at every meeting. If I get more ad revenue, I'll pay freelancers. Open government in the digital age means having access online. There's no excuse. It's remarkably cheap. Other than finding people to do the camera work, youtube is free, there are numerous free or cheap hosting solutions with wordpress, blogger, etc. I'm amazed that more people aren't doing it.
 
2013-01-17 10:31:54 AM
North Dakota is Best Dakota!
 
2013-01-17 10:33:11 AM
The number of private citizens who have no desire to affect pending legislation, who subscibe to this service, I would estimate to be zero. Except for scholars and journalists, to which this sort of privacy protection would be net negative.
 
2013-01-17 10:36:29 AM

the ha ha guy: NutWrench: What on earth is your point, then? You make an open records request and then argue that the same system you want to have access to should be closed and private? Is this cognitive dissonance? Concern trolling?


I read it as alerting them to the loophole in a way they can't ignore.

For example, if one of your clients consistently uses a close variant of the word "password" as their password, you can yell until you're blue in the face and they'll just laugh at you. But if you send them a hard-copy printout of one of their emails, within the hour they'll have a password that exceeds DoD security standards.

In this guy's case, he's forcing them to close the loophole before some lobbyist or corporation has a chance to get those comments in order to intimidate voters with different opinions (assuming the comments have identifying data attached).


Or make a map of where the poster live. I'd like to know where the poster live. Maybe an interactive map, for public safety of course.
media.nola.com
 
2013-01-17 10:45:56 AM
lost my s
 
2013-01-17 10:45:57 AM

the ha ha guy: NutWrench: What on earth is your point, then? You make an open records request and then argue that the same system you want to have access to should be closed and private? Is this cognitive dissonance? Concern trolling?


I read it as alerting them to the loophole in a way they can't ignore.

For example, if one of your clients consistently uses a close variant of the word "password" as their password, you can yell until you're blue in the face and they'll just laugh at you. But if you send them a hard-copy printout of one of their emails, within the hour they'll have a password that exceeds DoD security standards.

In this guy's case, he's forcing them to close the loophole before some lobbyist or corporation has a chance to get those comments in order to intimidate voters with different opinions (assuming the comments have identifying data attached).


Yup. It's a wake-up call, not trolling.
 
2013-01-17 10:47:12 AM
Lobbyists don't post comments; they direct legislators.
 
2013-01-17 11:06:08 AM
As a North Dakotan I can say that Al Carlson is a major d-bag.
 
2013-01-17 11:07:01 AM

phyrkrakr: Let's say I'm tracking some bill related to, I dunno, horse processing plants is a popular one these days. If I send a comment to the legislature saying "I think this should pass so that there's a humane way to handle horses who are at the end of their life" and track the bill to see what's being done, do I really want every wackjob PETA freak seeing what I've said and tracking me down to protest my office or whatever? Especially since the comments contain personally verifiable information - you have to register for the state login system, which requires name, address, email, and phone number.


What's the problem? Here's my personal info:

John Smith
123 45th street
New York, NY 11011
(212) 123-4567
 
2013-01-17 11:29:09 AM

Loren: the ha ha guy: NutWrench: What on earth is your point, then? You make an open records request and then argue that the same system you want to have access to should be closed and private? Is this cognitive dissonance? Concern trolling?


I read it as alerting them to the loophole in a way they can't ignore.

For example, if one of your clients consistently uses a close variant of the word "password" as their password, you can yell until you're blue in the face and they'll just laugh at you. But if you send them a hard-copy printout of one of their emails, within the hour they'll have a password that exceeds DoD security standards.

In this guy's case, he's forcing them to close the loophole before some lobbyist or corporation has a chance to get those comments in order to intimidate voters with different opinions (assuming the comments have identifying data attached).

Yup. It's a wake-up call, not trolling.


They should put him in prison.
 
2013-01-17 12:33:12 PM

ModernLuddite: I support the unification of the Dakotas and the end of the Dakota war.


North Dakota is Best Dakota!
 
2013-01-17 01:44:00 PM

phyrkrakr: HindiDiscoMonster: I disagree with the blogger... Comments made to a public forum directed at a public official should be public.

I'm not sure, that's a pretty fine line to walk. The government's business should be open to all, but should the activities of private citizens rise to that level? They're not talking about comments like here attached to the bottom of a bill, they're talking about the activities of private citizens who are using the transparency features they've added to the web. I mean, it's one thing to know when a lobbyist gives your rep a nice little chunk of change, but it's something completely different when you're trying to find out every political view and interest of Joe Blow just because he happens to be taking advantage of the ND state website.

Let's say I'm tracking some bill related to, I dunno, horse processing plants is a popular one these days. If I send a comment to the legislature saying "I think this should pass so that there's a humane way to handle horses who are at the end of their life" and track the bill to see what's being done, do I really want every wackjob PETA freak seeing what I've said and tracking me down to protest my office or whatever? Especially since the comments contain personally verifiable information - you have to register for the state login system, which requires name, address, email, and phone number.

I'm all for keeping an eye on what the politicians are up to, but I'd rather not have any random asshole who can draft a FOIA request know what my politics are.


I bet lobbyists feel the same way.  How would you differentiate yourself from them?
 
2013-01-17 01:47:34 PM
I find it remarkable that FOIA requests can be made via a casual email. Good for ND!  Is it that easy elsewhere?
 
2013-01-17 03:48:06 PM
The GOP, being bribed and trying to hide it? Silly notion.
 
2013-01-17 04:37:32 PM

Charlie Freak: Al Carlson is the same guy who doubled down and pushed through a state law keeping the Sioux nickname at UND


To be fair, my dad hasn't been in North Dakota in over 20 years. Depsite this, as a UND grad he was very much for keeping the name. Some people are nuts about their alma mater.

The issue itself was a bit more complicated because as long as the tribes gave permission they could still use the name. Unlike most colleges, there's two Sioux tribes to appease; they had the approval of one of the tribes to keep the name, but the other hadn't voted yet, but polling of the reservation generally showed approval.

phyrkrakr: Especially since the comments contain personally verifiable information - you have to register for the state login system, which requires name, address, email, and phone number.


My thought: Keep the current comments closed. Adjust the website so that public comments can be made, but are properly anonymous for regular citizens; my standard is higher for actual legislatures(IE they have to be more public).
 
2013-01-17 04:44:28 PM

BarkingUnicorn: I find it remarkable that FOIA requests can be made via a casual email. Good for ND!  Is it that easy elsewhere?


Not necessarily. I've been at sites where we regularly bust FOIA timelines for returning information. But then I'd also get requests to my office, requiring reply for things like 'All records involving the purchase of hazardous substance X from 1970-1980*' - My office didn't even EXIST in the '80s, and we don't buy anything except maybe office supplies, not industrial chemicals.

*When it was ID'd as dangerous and replaced.
 
2013-01-17 08:52:01 PM
Almost sounds like there's something very interesting in those comments.

"You better get more support behind bill X or you can forget about that check for the next election!!!" is my guess. Oh or maybe some funky talk from a mistress, that stuffs always entertaining. Hell I don't even live in that state and I want to file an open records request.

Hypnozombie

//Sept I would imagine it would be in all caps for effect
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-01-18 07:46:33 AM
My state's FOIA law exempts the legislature entirely. Problem solved.
 
2013-01-18 03:05:57 PM

BarkingUnicorn: I bet lobbyists feel the same way. How would you differentiate yourself from them?


I don't get paid to have an opinion. And isn't that always an issue? How is it currently handled? Oh, and besides, since when do lobbyists have to disclose the contents of their conversations with representatives? I'd certainly like to read it if that's happening anywhere.
 
2013-01-18 10:46:14 PM
Translation: We're up to something and left written records.
 
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