Politics - News Analysis
Hmmmm…Why Does Sarah Huckabee Sanders Want to Hide Her Travel and Security Records?
Now why would they want to do that?
Something’s fishy in the state of Arkansas. After dialing back a far more draconian and far-reaching proposal, the Republican legislature voted 29-2 on Wednesday to “shield” Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ travel and security records from being reviewed by the public.
Now, that may seem as though it’s in the interest of safety. We don’t want crazy people knowing travel plans or security protocols in advance, should they attempt the unthinkable.
But based on what lawmakers had originally proposed, that’s far from the case here. In the original proposal, the law would have blocked out access to “any ‘reflecting communications’ between the governor’s office and her cabinet secretaries and would have created an attorney-client privilege exemption from the open-records law.
That’s a violation of the Freedom of Information Act on its face.
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What’s more, the law that did make it through the first phase of passage doesn’t just remove sensitive information and allow access to the rest. No, the public will now be barred from seeing who she has on the plane with her and how much individual trips cost.
Some groups who opposed the initial bill said they felt better about it after it was narrowed in scope to security issues. But as we pointed out, this is a blanket blackout of information on the travel and security front, and evolved from a specific effort to hide ALL of the governor’s activities from the public.
Safety was never their concern.
Others, like attorney Joey McCutchen, said that the information should remain public: “If a governor is flying on a taxpayer plane, I want to know what those expenses are. I want to be able to see the receipts. I want to be able to see the documents. I want to know exactly what’s being spent.”
Unfortunately, in a state like Arkansas that’s politically one-sided and likely to remain that way for generations, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
Most interestingly, this bill is meant to be retroactive. They SAY that’s because they need to cover information back to June 2022 so the State Police could cover their security provisions for the Democratic and Republican nominees made the ballot.
Now, maybe it’s just a coincidence, but Governor Sanders also happens to be being sued by an attorney who says the agency illegally withheld records about the governor’s travel and security. She wants to make the thing she’s being sued for legal to hide.
That sounds like the Sarah Huckabee Sanders we know.