RG Editors link Kitzhaber’s and UO’s public records failures

In their editorial on Governor Kate Brown’s inaugural address, here:

… Brown also promised to make Ore­gon’s public records more easily and quickly available to the news media and to the public. That’s an appropriate reaction to the Kitzhaber administration’s stonewalling on public records requests for documents pertaining to the governor’s influence-peddling scandal — stonewalling that ultimately served not to protect Kitzhaber, but to reinforce the impression he was concealing evidence of wrongdoing.

Brown provided no details on the changes she will seek to the state’s public records law, but they should be broad in scope. They should address not only Kitzhaber’s efforts to withhold public documents (in his final days in office he sought to destroy thousands of personal emails stored on state servers), but the ability of state and local governments throughout the state to withhold and delay information that the public has a right and need to know. A prime example is the University of Oregon, which increasingly in recent years has made the refusal of public records requests its default position in defiance of its status as a public university.

UO’s Presidential Advisor Dave Hubin has been in charge of UO’s Public Records office since 2011. He’s been a failure, and that failure has contributed to the sinking reputation of the UO administration, and UO.

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8 Responses to RG Editors link Kitzhaber’s and UO’s public records failures

  1. correction says:

    Actually you are also contributing to the sinking reputation of the UO by feeding these stories to the press.

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    • Ne'er-Do-Well says:

      You are so right. It’s so much more productive to support a corrupt administration and contribute to an atmosphere of mistrust and dishonesty for the sake of the school’s good reputation. Because it’s not a research university founded on the pursuit of truth and knowledge or anything silly like that.

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    • Hannah Arendt says:

      The RG has had very public problems with UO’s approach to public records for several years.

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      Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
    • just different says:

      Bill Harbaugh is hardly the only one who gets jerked around by UO Public Records. The press are perfectly capable of using their own experiences with them to base their judgment on. Other private citizens, like myself, also can’t get them to turn things over. UO gets away with this crap largely because no one is drawing attention to it. Except, of course, Bill Harbaugh.

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    • Disappointed Duck says:

      Don’t kill the messenger.

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  2. “The RG has had very public problems with UO’s approach to public records for several years.”

    Indeed. You also have KATU, the Emerald, and even The New York Times having major issues in getting records.

    But, part of the problem is that even though we all know about the severe and pervasive public records problems at the UO, nothing seems to be getting done about it. I’m reminded of the Bill Cosby sexual assault accusations which had been around for years, but it wasn’t until recently that there was “collective focused attention” on the issue.

    I have a feeling that in the next few weeks there will be “collective focused attention” on the way UO handles public records. The UO’s public records house of cards is about to fall, just like it did for Kitzhaber.

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    • just different says:

      Hmmmm. What can be done to take this golden opportunity to turn up the heat? An online petition? A website collecting stories about denied or heavily redacted public records requests that will show the truth that is omitted from the posted list of requests? A crowdfunded lawsuit in support of a recently denied records request?

      I’m perfectly serious about this. UO will just wait out a few negative editorials–now might be the time to strike and put a stop to their shenanigans once and for all.

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  3. Nobody says:

    Any idiot can see that UO will be forced to do something. And you don’t have to put quotes around collective focused attention, the majority of people know what that is.

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