It’s hard to believe Hillary Clinton’s spokesman could claim her sole use of a personal e-mail account as secretary of state complied with “the letter and spirit of the rules.” Clinton was doing State Department work, and federal law requires that most such correspondence be retained and available – including to congressional committees, the media and historians. According to the New York Times, the existence of Clinton’s personal e-mail account was discovered by the House’s Benghazi investigation committee – on which Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, sits – which will justify the whole redundant probe in the eyes of some partisans eager to thwart her likely presidential campaign. This problem is much broader than Clinton, though. As exemplified by recent revelations that the Kansas budget director privately e-mailed the governor’s draft budget to lobbyists and others, public officials at all levels of government are using personal e-mail accounts to avoid release and scrutiny of communications related to the public’s business. It should stop. – Rhonda Holman
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