« Home | Beebe Must Investigate » | Common sense takes a vacation in Beebe campaign » | Chris Battle Responds To Arkansas Democrats' Negat... » | Will illegal immigrants be gays of 2008? » | Republican Party of Arkansas Starts Blog » | Halter Adds Another $142,085 to Coffers » | Asa & Taxes » | Stumbaugh To Hold Fundraiser » | Beebe Visits Logan County » | Sheehan Again... » 

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 

Make Sure That Mike Beebe Attends

Professor to speak on state’s FOI law


Richard J. Peltz, associate professor of law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law, will be the guest speaker at the Arkansas Policy Foundation’s luncheon on Thursday at Cheers on Broadway in downtown Little Rock.

Peltz, co-author of the book The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and an adviser to the Arkansas Press Association, will discuss the Freedom of Information Act and ideas for expanding the public’s right to know. He teaches torts, constitutional law, First Amendment and Freedom of Information law.

The luncheon begins at 11:45 a.m. Admission to the luncheon is free, but attendees are responsible for the cost of their meals.

Here is what Beebe said in an article agreeing with Richard Peltz:
-Earlier this year, the Governor's Mansion Commission declined to release information about publicly funded expansion plans for the governor's residence by citing the working papers exemption.

Peltz said last month the commission couldn't claim the exemption.

"Politicians always want to aggrandize their power and advocates will always push back," Peltz said. "I don't think we're outside of the natural order of things with that yet, but some would disagree with me."

Before he became attorney general in 2003, Beebe was a state senator from Searcy who often complained about how Huckabee flaunted the working papers exemption. Now, he generally declines to assess Huckabee's handling of FOI because Beebe would be the governor's lawyer if he were sued.

But he did let some criticism fly in an interview with The Associated Press this week.

"There are instances from time to time where I wonder about it," Beebe said. "The mansion commission issues in recent months come to mind as something that raised my eyebrows. I don't believe the mansion commission's work is exempt."

And Beebe has been known to cite the very same exemption to decline requests for government information, such as correspondence from or to tobacco companies regarding payments to the state under the national tobacco settlement."

I am not aware of any criticism of our overextension or extraordinary use of the exemption since I've been here," Beebe said. "We haven't tried to expand it or cheat. If you legitimately have unpublished correspondence, there's nothing wrong with claiming the exemption." (AP - 3/12/2005)

Powered by Blogger