Email Insights: Rick Scott won’t win popularity contests with latest public records dodge

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Charlie Crist asks supporters, “If Gov. Rick Scott has nothing to hide, why is he making it harder to access public records.”

Once again, it’s a fair question.

Scott recently changed some of the rules regarding what falls under “public records” – such as emails and texts of state employees — making it harder for citizens and journalists to get an idea of how Florida is conducting “the people’s business.”

The governor’s lawyers announced this week that state employees are now “custodians” of private emails and text messages regarding government work. That means interested parties must submit a request to the individual, instead of applying to the state agency involved.

Crist, who as governor created the Office of Open Government to help improve transparency, is not impressed, which he makes obvious in the current campaign email.

“Rick Scott clearly doesn’t understand that state business is the people’s business, not his personal business,” Crist says. “We know his history — he hides from accountability. There is no trust, and now there is virtually no verify.

“This administration simply does not respect our state’s history of open, transparent government in the sunshine.”

Scott is certainly not winning any popularity contests, and this latest move will do little to change that.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.