Monday, September 16, 2013

Latest Bennett Revelation Just Another Mark Against His Legacy

I have to be careful what I write lest my comments on Tony Bennett be mischaracterized by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz (as they were in his recent Nuvo column).

That said, the former state schools chief's unraveling has been as disturbing as it has been fascinating to watch.  It's providing us with a look inside an organization that was as ill-prepared to lead reform efforts as it was ill-prepared for the possibility of losing an election to Glenda Ritz.

In this week's edition of public records requests 101, the Associated Press' Tom LoBianco has obtained the GOP's high-powered and high dollar fundraising list.  Bennett staffers carelessly left it on state computers for anyone to discover after leaving office.  That makes it, as the AP calls it, "a public document--free to anyone."

Needless to say, Tim Berry has to be blowing a main engine seal over this one.  These donor lists are not supposed to be circulated to every Republican, let alone any one of us little folk that might want it.  These are guarded by the parties like state secrets and only handed out to the highest level candidates.  Looks like those that trusted Tony Bennett and his staff chose unwisely.

It seems to be another example of the Bennett Administration's arrogance.  This list got left on the state computers because of carelessness.  It was stupid to upload it to the state servers in the first place, and it was likely uploaded because they thought they'd never get caught.  Well, they got caught.

In reality, this list should have been the first thing that was removed from the state's computers once it was discovered on them.  Someone should have been the adult and said, "YOU CAN'T DO THIS!"  That should have been Bennett or someone close to him.

No one said anything, and no one removed the file.  Now, you or I can see it.

Let me be clear, Abdul.  I'm not saying that Bennett violated any laws or knowingly did anything wrong.  The Inspector General or court system will speak on that.  Even the most staunch Bennett defender will have to admit that this is just another black eye and mark against his legacy.


Paul K. Ogden said...

As I wrote elsewhere, I'm not sure I buy that leaving it on the state's computer makes it a public document. It's probably protected by copyright. If so, the copyright holder would retain control over its use. If I download John Grisham's latest novel onto my state computer, that doesn't mean it's now a public document that anyone can view. Still having it on the state computer was pretty dumb.

Jon Easter said...

Is a fundraising document eligible for copyright?