Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday night line

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Another webcast day draws to a close. Final thoughts:

* CORRECTION ON GAME AND FISH COMMISSION EMPLOYEE SURVEY: I made an error in reporting yesterday about the employee morale survey at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. All copies of the survey results — given to the press and members of the Game and Fish Commission — had been redacted by the private Virginia firm that did the survey to remove names of employees who made comments and also names of employees they commented about. I had indicated erroneously that commissioners received unredacted copies of the report. Employees had been promised anonymity to participate in the survey. The agency's lawyers have made the further determination — based in part on attorney general opinions — that comments in such surveys about job peformance may be protected under exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act. Several in the press and some commission critics have challenged that interpretation and threatened a lawsuit. Neither the commission nor its private law firm has a copy of unredacted comments. The law firm has requested an unredacted version from the contractor, but he has not responded. Commission spokesmen told me today that this information has been requested so that it will be in the hands of the agency's law firm if a successful lawsuit is filed to uncover that information though they still believe the information should remain confidential both by law and the agreement with employees. Under state legal precedent, information that otherwise might be public information can't be reached by suing the private party that has it, only by suing the public agency. A public agency cannot avoid disclosure by shipping public information off to a private party.

* WOO PIG SOOIE: Tight end Hunter Henry of Pulaski Academy has committed to play for the Razorbacks.

* STOP GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF BOY SCOUTS: The Secular Coalition for America has put together a long list of the financial ways in which taxpayers support Boy Scouts, which have reaffirmed their policy of discriminating against gay kids. The Coalition says the government shouldn't support discriminatory organizations. Amen. And speaking of DISCRIMINATION: If the traffic hazard the chain created on Markham Street wasn't enough, Chick-Fil-A's outspoken discrimination against gay people is another good reason not to patronize them.




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