Wednesday, September 17, 2008

E-mail-Gate. Finally something we can relate to...

Governor Palin's private e-mail account was hacked, much like Frank Wolf's e-mail was hacked sometime ago. Now, on the one hand, I kinda like this information in front of all Americans, because it demonstrates the desperation of Obama's minions. It lays it all out there , and shows in full display the depths that whackjobs will go to in their effort to wrestle control from those who WILL change the status quo in Washington.

Then, the buzz starts off about the Governor possibly using the private e-mail to conduct State business outside of her official e-mail address. Not at issue is her using her official e-mail for personal uses...but the reverse. The thoughts expressed on this were that she could effectively mask certain actions by using her private e-mail to facilitate them.

Around April of this year, here in Loudoun, we had a VERY similar occurence when the noteable Sally Mann FOIA'd Jim Burton's and Scott York's public office e-mails. That later turned into a FOIA of their private e-mails as well, when what Ms. Mann was looking for wasn't found in the public accounts. District Court Judge Dean Worcester found that all of the e-mails in both accounts were open, because these officials sometimes inadvertently mix account uses.

Judge Thomas D. Horne heard the appeal of Burton and York, and ruled that all e-mail correspondence was NOT to be the subject of FOIA requests. In his opinion, he stated :"the list of groceries to pick up on the way home from work electronically mailed by a spouse to a supervisor at his or her office and utilizing the County mail system would not be subject to production."

Horne ruled that only private e-mails where PUBLIC BUSINESS was addressed were to be included as FOIA searchable, and went on to define public business as "those matters over which the public governmental body or agent of the government has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power."

More recently, Greg L. at Black Velvet Bruce Li got some comments on private/public e-mail after a piece he did.

Using this finding, if Palin was indeed using her private e-mail address to address the public business in any way, it is then subject to FOIA law. But there is a right way and a wrong way to obtain the e-mails. The hack job was the wrong way, and those who bypassed the legal system in obtaining those e-mails won't pass it up when the authorities find them.

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