I just broke the news live on the Dana Show, but the first results of my Sunshine Requests are here, and the short version is someone is in trouble. You remember that little video that I made earlier in the week? It wasn't a joke. It was a teaser of what really happens when you deliver state documents to Robin Carnahan's offices. Someone in her office has almost certainly violated the Sunshine Law, and it's very possible they have violated campaign and ethics laws.
FiredUpMissouri is a hyper-partisan, semi-anonymous blog run by a paid webmaster whose job is to daily attack Missouri Republicans. For more on the authors behind FiredUp, please check out my six part series on the FiredUp Family Tree.
Here are the facts.
On July 24th, around 12:30, an associate of James Harris, the head of Show Me Better Courts, delivered a letter to the Secretary of State's office. The letter was stamped as officially received at 1:42 p.m.
At 2:29 p.m. on that day, a senior counsel received an email stating the scanned image of her document was ready. She proceeded to forward that scanned letter by email to two people who had open records requests, one at 2:30 p.m., and one at 2:44 p.m. The only official records found in my Sunshine Request showed the document finished being scanned at 2:29 p.m., and then forwarded. Everything seems to be in order. But it's not.
At 1:57 p.m. on the same day, An author on the FiredUpMissouri website, "patriot," published a blogpost attacking Show Me Better Courts, an organization working to change how we select judges. On that post, a document was uploaded to the FiredUpMissouri servers, and another version of that document was uploaded to Scribd, a document viewing site. The post went live at 1:57 p.m, and the Scribd version was added later.
32 minutes before the first official recording of a scan by the Secretary of State's office, the document and post appear on FiredUp. There were three total records requests for those documents that applied to the letter, and all three were acted upon after the official document scan. In other words, the scanned document FiredUp posted, just 15 minutes after it was officially received by the SoS, didn't officially exist.
That's bad. It means one of two things.
The first possibility:
The Secretary of State's office failed to deliver all the documents in my request, and have another email showing a scanned document. They also have a reason it was delivered to someone who could upload the document or who had access to upload the document to FiredUp.
The second possibility:
Someone in the Secretary of State's office took documents out of the office and uploaded them directly to the FiredUp weblog.
Needless to say, both are bad. You simply can't be involved in partisan political operations using state documents while you're in the government. No matter how you look at it, someone in Robin's office did something wrong. And after receiving my Sunshine Request, do you know what they did? They switched authors at FiredUp and twice more used the FiredUp blog to attack political opponents using documents procured from the Secretary of State's office. So on three separate occasions, we see hand-delivered letters arriving at the Secretary of State's office, and then showing up on FiredUp attached to nasty partisan attack posts from "anonymous" commenters.
It is unacceptable. It quite possibly breaks the law. And now we're going to find out who is responsible. Documents are below the fold.
**When they asked me for a check for the expenses - I decided to send a money order. Just in case they decided to post it on FiredUp!