January 13th, 2009
N.J. governor’s emails deemed private
By David Cuillier
An appeals court ruled Monday that New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine doesn’t have to release emails with his ex-girlfriend, a former leader of a union negotiating with the state, because the governor needs to be able to communicate in secret to prevent a “chilling effect” in conversations. Check out the ongoing stories about this posted at the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government.
The whole sordid case has reports of payoffs and love and then non-love and maybe some other payoffs we don’t know about. Who knows? It’s all secret. So I guess if the governor was having an affair with a labor leader, while the state was negotiating a major contract with that union, then it would be unfair to expose that? Under that thinking ALL government records that might shed light on potential misdeeds should be kept secret lest they make our officials uncomfortable talking in secret about their potential misdeeds.
All the journalists wanted was a judge to look at the records to see if they could be released, or whether they were truly needing to be kept secret (union negotiation records are often kept hidden for legitimate reasons). But this circuit court deemed otherwise. Let’s see what happens at the New Jersey Supreme Court. Stay tuned!