Cover-ups 'R' Us

I see that Portland City Hall wants to change the state's public records laws so that their cover-ups will be legal – instead of illegal, which is what they are now.

They're so into hiding stuff that the city attorney, Robert Taylor (pictured),* had to apologize publicly the other day for some of it. They are oh so very sorry, when they're caught.

The latest stonewall apologist is Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who thinks her friends in the nonprofit industrial complex need some secrecy. 

Hardesty said her office was flooded with public records requests daily, some of which she believed were inappropriate and “not in the public’s interest.” She specifically called out one recent media request related to information for applicants for grant funding.

That makes sense. Hardesty's got 339 days left before she goes back to being a grant applicant herself.

* - Former deputy secretary of state under Kate Brown. All in the family!


  1. Don't these people have something better to do, like making large rocks into small rocks at some prison in the most godforsaken corner of eastern Oregon?

  2. I have said for years that the whole public records charade is a giant make-work, Operation Footdrag scam because the whole thing is easily solved now with mass digital storage and cloud accessibility. All public records should be stored and indexed on publicly accessible archives that anyone can browse from their phone or a computer at the library.

    The only things NOT so stored and made accessible would be the things “born” exempt from disclosure, which should be shown in the same overall index, but without the document itself being accessible, and with a flag that shows what exemption(s) apply to block accessibility to the public.

    So instead of claiming in statute that everything is accessible but, in practical terms, making everything inaccessible by requiring the public to pay for a search for it, all governments should be required to put everything that is not clearly exempt right out where the public can grab it, no request and no search needed.

    The only requests necessary by the average citizen should be when someone wants to argue about the stuff that has been put under the “exempt” label — anyh user should have only to “right click” on a document to see what exemption category was applied to exempt the document. So you should be able to hit about three clicks, explain why you are challenging the classification, and have that processed. There should be NO other requests needed.

    Adopting this means we truly do make all public records public and we can stop paying people to “search” and copy documents, and use the savings to hire some digerati and library science types to organize the information archive for each agency/department, etc so that there’s a logical structure to what goes where and train all the workers on where they must save their work and when and how they can keep their work exempt from automatic full availability.

    Then, no matter who you work form, if you draw a public paycheck in Oregon, you can only save documents to the open/accessible archive unless you know of an exemption, and then you exempt the document right then, when it’s born —- but the public gets to see it in the files and know what exemption you are claiming. That would be VASTLY cheaper and waste far less time than we do now.

    People who give the government information would be told that everything they give to government will be made accessible to everyone with a computer, unless they can identify the exemption — they submit whatever it is, the government bureaucrat either agrees with the exemption or tells the submitter it’s going to be denied and offers to let them return the submission (so it doesn’t go public) or they can challenge the refusal to exempt it before submitting it.

    1. When you run for Secretary of State please let us know who you are here, so we can contribute.


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