Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

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Addendum: AG, Board of Regents & HB 397

by PV

To: Mr. Sam Olens, Attorney General

So, Mr. Olens, we’re kinda, sorta puzzled about what it is you think your role is as Attorney General of Georgia, and how you actually promulgate your duties in real life:

1) You bring forth new legislation that causes news organizations up and down this state to swoon and coo all over your “baby” that you conceived called HB 397.

2) You introduce more stringent (presumably) requirements for Open Records Act requests for information from state, county, and local government agencies (“agencies” will be used interchangeably in this discussion with “entities”), and you provide new penalties for failure of any government employee who violates the performance of answering a Request.

3) You introduce more stringent requirements for what constitutes how “Open Meetings” are to be conducted, and what government officials can and cannot do…also providing new penalties for violations.

4) You have reduced the cost of paper copies from $0.25 per page to $0.10 per page…even though in this world today, a LOT of agencies actually have the ability to directly scan documents into a PDF document a lot quicker than actually printing-out documents and mailing them…but, again, we’re not going to quibble over this bit of illogic.

5), 6), 7)….and whatever other new things you have in the bill.

BUT…here is the really, really, really strange part of this whole charade of yours to promote “open government” in Georgia:

IF someone filed an open records request on any state agency (i.e., executive branch of Georgia government), and if they were to uncover either a violation of some civil law in Georgia, or perhaps even a violation of a criminal statute in Georgia by anyone in that state agency (or, in the case of the Board of Regents’ issue, where there are multiple violations of malfeasance alleged by many individuals…with documented proof from the Plaintiff), you, as Attorney General of Georgia, would immediately act to seize the proof of the violations of laws, seal-off the evidence and take-on the role of taxpayer-paid-for defense attorney for the offending person, persons, or entire organization.

And, of course, in addition to the violation of Georgia laws that were uncovered through the course of this hypothetical open records request, there might also be violations of federal law uncovered as well (since the Board of Regents receives earmarked-funding from the feds that passes through the State of Georgia Revenue). But, because of the role you see yourself, you would take action to protect your client (the state agency) from any kind of criminal or civil investigation, and bury that evidence as deeply as possible.

So, you kinda play several roles in the case of malfeasance by anyone in any executive-branch state agency: Defense Attorney, evidence lockup guy, magistrate judge, and basically, Chief Cover-Up Officer of Malfeasance by state employees and publicly elected officials of state agencies.

Anything we miss here?

And…just to carry out this line of thinking a little further…you’re hoping you might serve in the Justice Department of a President Mitt Romney? Perhaps you even have Eric Holder’s job in mind, eh?

Based on your current actions to date as Chief Cover-Up Officer of the Board of Regents/Defense Attorney for the potential abuse and misuse of millions of Georgia taxpayer dollars, could you take a moment and kindly explain to us in Georgia and America how what you do in Georgia right now with regards to the Board of Regents’ case would translate to the kind of person Republicans would like to see replace Eric Holder as Attorney General of the U.S.? From our standpoint, when it comes to cover-up of what the executive branch of a government is doing, it actually does not appear there would be much of a change in results if you were switched-out with Eric Holder…?

Take all the time you want, Sir. Really.

One Response to “Addendum: AG, Board of Regents & HB 397”

  1. Beth Sutton Says:

    I have known E. Denise Caldon for over 50 years and I have known her to be a person of integrity and service. When she speaks, I know I can count on her to be speaking the truth.

    Denise, thank you for alerting us to what you have seen firsthand behind the scenes in our state’s higher education system.

Today's Deep Thought

If I was the head of a country that lost a war, and I had to sign a peace treaty, just as I was signing, I'd glance over the treaty and then suddenly act surprised. 'Wait a minute! I thought we won!'


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