Feathered Bastard

Tom Horne Pimps Bill Restricting Access to Public Records

Now why would Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne want to make it difficult and costly for reporters and regular citizens to obtain public records?

Given the trouble Horne's gotten himself into regarding public records requests to his office -- resulting in an FBI investigation, two county attorneys concluding that Horne broke campaign finance laws, and a recent hearing before an administrative law judge who may fine Horne as much as $1.2 million -- I think I know the answer.

Still, I was intrigued to find that Horne had no less than three staffers down at the state House Technology and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday to observe the discussion on a strike-everything amendment to House Bill 2419, submitted by the committee's chair, Representative David Stevens.

The proposed language would allow public bodies to begin charging for the "labor" involved in gathering public records in response to requests, with the first four hours being free.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons