Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why doesn't city manager Dave Garcia claim executive privilege?

The legislative body of Chula Vista (the city council), spent the evening a couple of days ago examining what they suspected (hoped?) were pictures of Pamela Anderson and other women downloaded from the Internet by the executive branch of Chula Vista, specifically city manager Dave Garcia.

Why didn't Chula Vista's executive branch refuse to turn over the documents? Mayor Cheryl Cox is an expert at keeping secrets, a skill she developed at Chula Vista Elementary School District.

Perhaps Cox needs a review course in how it's done, so I offer the following:

Palin Claims Executive Privilege
Think Progress
Sept. 10, 2008

The Washington Post reports that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) is “being asked by a local Republican activist to release more than 1,100 e-mails she withheld from a public records request, including 40 that were copied to her husband, Todd.” Invoking a favored practice of the Bush administration, Palin has claimed executive privilege to keep the e-mails secret — despite the fact many of them were sent to Todd, who is not an elected official.

What’s more, Palin and her staff intentionally use her personal Yahoo e-mail account, perhaps to avoid document release requests:

Palin also routinely does government business from a Yahoo address,, rather than from her secure official state e-mail address, according to documents already made public...

The lawyer filing the request pointed out that the point of government e-mail is to ensure “security and encryption.” “She’s running state business out of Yahoo?” he asked...

Palin’s move is eerily reminiscent of Bush administration ploys to dramatically increase secrecy in government, such as when White House aides switched to personal e-mail accounts to avoid subpoenas during the investigation into U.S. Attorney scandal last year:

"But just a week after E-mails in the U.S. attorneys case became a main focus of congressional Democrats probing the firings, several aides said that they stopped using the White House system except for purely professional correspondence..."

As Josh Marshall pointed out at the time, if the White House was using personal e-mails, “they can’t have even the vaguest claim” to executive privilege [regarding the emails that used the government email]...

No comments: