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Thread: Jeb's Email Problem

  1. #81
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    Re: Jeb's Email Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    There is no such thing as a "working definition". That is a made up term designed to confuse the issue. There is a legal definition and it is explicitly and clearly defined in the sentence I quoted. Here is it again, for reference purposes:

    (11) "Public records" means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.

    Note the bolded portion. "OR OTHER MATERIAL regardless of physical form". How you got from "regardless of material form" to "recorded in electronical circuits (as opposed to ink on paper) doesn't count" is a leap Evel Kneival would be proud of.
    First, there is such thing as a "working definition"; which is the examination of how a term is used in a statute to give evidence of its meaning. Statutory law usually provides a definitions section (which Florida did) that tries to remove ambiguity. However, in this case, they failed to define e-mail, and nowhere in the text do they even use the term. (Perhaps because it was written long before email existed).

    Second, in that law the definition of public record is ambiguous. Read the bolded part again and note the comma AFTER "other material". A public record is that list of material "things"...documents, films, etc and 'other material' things. Those "things" "regardless of their physical form...means of transmission" might be a public record. For example, faxing a contract can be a public record. Emailing a contract as an attachment is a public record. But is the comments in the email eligible to be a public record?

    Third, there are only three ways to resolve the lack of plain meaning a) Examine how the term public records is interpreted elsewhere in the chapter (working definition) b) examine any contemporaneous documentation (e.g. office manuals, court opinions) that demonstrate that the "original understanding" at the time was that it included email.

    Also, I have read the chapter and I've seen that they do not merely "infer" that some records are electronic. They explicitly state that "public records" include information stored in computers:

    119.07 Inspection and copying of records; photographing public records; fees; exemptions...
    Sorry, that dog won't hunt either. It does not say a "public record" is any information stored on a computer, it says a public record may be accessible by remote electronic means. The question is if an email, in and of itself, is a public record APART from any document, letter, etc. stored in electronic form?

    the law CLEARLY covers documents (including letters) that are stored electronically.
    That is undisputed.

    Because he did not follow the law, but that's OK because it's different when he does it.
    If you recall I pointed out the false equivalency of a bank robber to a pickpocket - it says nothing about it being "ok" but when the defenders of the bank robber start pleading that it's 'the same' as a pickpocket who got off, well, you know that we have entered the realm of the twilight zone.

    I have no problem pointing out that numerous government workers and agencies intentionally conceal public records, and that many officials (perhaps the majority) do not turn over private emails that may or may not constitute public records in their State. And no, its not okay. It is a "blue wall of silence" in all of civil service. And if I had my way, a good part of the officials of the EPA, IRS, and several other federal agencies would be tossed in the can for a few years.

    BUT what Hillary did was unprecedented and egregious steps, with a clear intent to be sole custodian of ALL her public records.

    And if this gives the GOP nomination to someone else, anyone else, I'd be pleased as punch.
    Last edited by maxparrish; 03-14-15 at 03:59 PM.

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    Re: Jeb's Email Problem

    ...Politifact points out a couple of other key differences between these competing claims about the e-mail practices of Jeb and Hillary:

    But while American Bridge tried to draw a parallel between Bush’s self-selection and Clinton’s current dilemma, we found nothing to suggest Bush’s editing had violated Florida’s Sunshine Law. State statute allows officials or an authorized custodian to determine which emails go into the public record based on whether they pertain to state business. The state archives only receive and preserve them.

    Another big difference is that while Clinton was not open about her private email use, Bush was transparent about the fact that he was using a private account, according to First Amendment Foundation president Barbara Petersen.

    “There’s nothing in the public records law about personal accounts,” Petersen said about rules in Florida. “Some agencies have policies discouraging the use of personal accounts, but that was after Bush left office.” …

    Overall, the emails provide Bush with a talking point leading up to 2016, said Bill Allison, senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation. He’s done what Florida law requires and exerted pressure on his presumptive Republican rivals.
    The difference here is that Florida never required officials to use government servers for official business, and didn’t require the archiving of communications by an outside agency as the Federal Records Act did during Hillary’s tenure at State. Perhaps most importantly, Hillary used that system in violation of the law in order to avoid FOIA demands and Congressional oversight, while Bush’s records locations were well known and subject to such scrutiny. Bush’s actions aren’t exactly sparkling with luminous transparency, but Hillary’s were flat-out corrupt … and we haven’t even gotten to the Clinton Foundation yet.
    Does Jeb have an e-mail scandal too? « Hot Air

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    Re: Jeb's Email Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    He should be unelectable anyway, but given the fact that the GOP is so short on talent these days, they can only pick their presidents from one family I suppose we may be stuck. I don't know if Jeb violated any law or not. But he should have. I mean, all government employees should be issued .gov addresses, and prosecuted if they conduct any official business on personal accounts. Are you ok with Bush being the one to decide which of his quarter million emails are worthy of scrutiny and archiving.
    Are you OK with Hillary doing it? Do you approach her decision making with the same vehemence?

    Dont know about the state law in Florida and we cant really indict people based on what we think the law 'should' be. The fed DOES have a strict policy regarding official email. Imagine even a contracting officer sending private emails to competing vendors.Whether or not something inappropriate was done there will always be the specter that it was. I have a .mil account and have to send my official correspondence utilizing my .mil account, from my desktop, web based mail, or my blackberry. We all know that and we all know why.

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    Re: Jeb's Email Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMack View Post
    Are you OK with Hillary doing it? Do you approach her decision making with the same vehemence?

    Dont know about the state law in Florida and we cant really indict people based on what we think the law 'should' be. The fed DOES have a strict policy regarding official email. Imagine even a contracting officer sending private emails to competing vendors.Whether or not something inappropriate was done there will always be the specter that it was. I have a .mil account and have to send my official correspondence utilizing my .mil account, from my desktop, web based mail, or my blackberry. We all know that and we all know why.
    I'm absolutely opposed to Hillary doing it, I want an independent party to look at every damn email she has, and not her deciding which ones are relevant. And I'll add, if she doesn't want people looking at her private emails, then she should keep them on her private server, and use a .gov address for all official business.

    As to Jeb, I never said he should be indicted. He likely broke no law. However, what he did should be illegal, and I want it to become standard procedure that all government employees receive a .gov address, and are prosecuted if they ever use a personal email to conduct official business. Neither Jeb nor Hillary should be retroactively prosecuted. But there needs to be reform as this isn't just a scrutiny problem, it's a national security problem.
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    Re: Jeb's Email Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I can't read that article because I'm not a subscriber to WSJ.
    FYI in case no one has yet pointed this out.
    Actually you can.
    Search the title of the article in Google and click on the Google link to the article.
    A Google referrer allows the whole article to be viewed.


    The WSJ article should be the first link displayed.
    Click it and read away.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=Hill...utf-8&oe=utf-8


    This works for Ha’aretz also.
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    Re: Jeb's Email Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    I'm absolutely opposed to Hillary doing it, I want an independent party to look at every damn email she has, and not her deciding which ones are relevant. And I'll add, if she doesn't want people looking at her private emails, then she should keep them on her private server, and use a .gov address for all official business.

    As to Jeb, I never said he should be indicted. He likely broke no law. However, what he did should be illegal, and I want it to become standard procedure that all government employees receive a .gov address, and are prosecuted if they ever use a personal email to conduct official business. Neither Jeb nor Hillary should be retroactively prosecuted. But there needs to be reform as this isn't just a scrutiny problem, it's a national security problem.
    The only reform needed is enforcement of existing law. So...its the frogwalk for the likely democrat candidate for president.

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    Re: Jeb's Email Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Excon View Post
    FYI in case no one has yet pointed this out.
    Actually you can.
    Search the title of the article in Google and click on the Google link to the article.
    A Google referrer allows the whole article to be viewed.


    The WSJ article should be the first link displayed.
    Click it and read away.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=Hill...utf-8&oe=utf-8


    This works for Ha’aretz also.
    Thanks! That works.
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    Re: Jeb's Email Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by maxparrish View Post
    First, there is such thing as a "working definition"; which is the examination of how a term is used in a statute to give evidence of its meaning. Statutory law usually provides a definitions section (which Florida did) that tries to remove ambiguity. However, in this case, they failed to define e-mail, and nowhere in the text do they even use the term. (Perhaps because it was written long before email existed).
    The definition clearly includes email

    Second, in that law the definition of public record is ambiguous. Read the bolded part again and note the comma AFTER "other material". A public record is that list of material "things"
    No, it does not say that public records are material "things". You are lying
    Third, there are only three ways to resolve the lack of plain meaning a) Examine how the term public records is interpreted elsewhere in the chapter (working definition) b) examine any contemporaneous documentation (e.g. office manuals, court opinions) that demonstrate that the "original understanding" at the time was that it included email.
    And in other sections they refer to electronic data as public records.
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    Re: Jeb's Email Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentDrummr View Post
    Neither is enough to stop the email scandals from petering out.
    If Hillary and Jeb are their parties' candidates it will peter out. Because nobody will want to talk about their own skeletons,


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    This issue has been plowed more times than Paris Hilton.
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    Too bad we have to observe human rights.

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    Re: Jeb's Email Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMack View Post
    The only reform needed is enforcement of existing law. So...its the frogwalk for the likely democrat candidate for president.
    Enforcement isn't reform. I certainly hope Hillary's out. But that doesn't speak to the law you mention. Are you saying Florida already has laws forbidding the governor from doing official business on personal emails?
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