Opinion Columns & Blogs

State lawmakers reluctant to make e-mails public

Despite the outcry about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail account, many state lawmakers are reluctant to expand the definition of public records in Kansas to include private e-mails used for public business, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. The issue arose after state budget director Shawn Sullivan sent a proposed state budget to administration officials and others (including two lobbyists) using private e-mail accounts. But a proposal by Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, to include such e-mails in public records was voted down. Doug Anstaett, executive director of the Kansas Press Association, said that a majority of lawmakers are content to operate in the shadows. “I’m appalled that public officials would say they’re all for transparency and then every time they get a chance to take a vote to increase that transparency they would say, ‘Oh, not me,’” he said. – Phillip Brownlee