So the Denver Post is suing Gov. Bill Ritter for access to his personal cell phone records? While I’m a strong proponent of transparency in government, it would seem this is slightly over the line.
Over at The Colorado Index, a watcher writes “in defense of Bill Ritter.” The typically conservative blogger is no big fan of either the Governor or the Post. A watcher especially has problems with the way the latter has responded to his quest for legal ethics reform.
So what should be done? I agree with Rocky Mountain Right’s assessment:
Ritter should disclose any calls he made related to state business in accordance with the law even if they were on a private phone, but he should also not have to disclose every time he called his wife or golfing buddy. This case seems like it would benefit more from arbitration by a neutral party that could shield Ritter’s privacy in his personal life while releasing records of public interest rather than a blanket lawsuit.
Look, I’ve been plenty critical of Bill Ritter here on my blog, and for good reason: for everything from raising property taxes in violation of the state constitution to imposing unionization on state government through executive order. But there ought to be a fair compromise solution that requires the Governor to disclose the official calls while preserving a reasonable measure of privacy.
Then again, I am intrigued at the possibility of finding out what the Denver Post is searching after that has ultimately led them to file this lawsuit. Here’s hoping for justice both for the people of Colorado and their chief executive.