Records search was necessary
Originally addressed: An Open letter to the people of ColoradoA lot has been made over the last several weeks about the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests I have filed against several county and local government officials in southwestern Colorado. Let me set the record straight. For decades, liberal operatives have used open records requests as a tool to wage bureaucratic war against those with whom they disagree. Even media outlets (reportedly the Associated Press) test federal and state open records laws by filing these requests.After the end of the legislative session, my employment with the Republican Study Committee ended, and I realized that at no other point in my life would I be able to test the principles of democracy.I had formed two theories which I wished to test. First, I believed that liberal elected officials on the Western Slope were using their positions to conspire with extremist environmental groups to block economic development on the Western Slope. Second, I believed that in a random test of responsiveness to CORA requests, that these same liberals would obfuscate and stonewall access to their records.Liberals have often wrapped themselves in the rhetoric of open government; with a claim that they believe that sunshine is the best disinfectant of bad government, but would liberals freely open themselves to the disinfecting light of public scrutiny, or would they hide behind the trappings of power?As you have read, the answer is clear. Instead of embracing public scrutiny, liberals like Art Goodtimes and Trési Houpt have used the power of their offices to block my legally protected right to view their official e-mail correspondence.The endless hand-wringing and whining to the press has made one thing crystal clear; Houpt, Goodtimes and their lackeys in county government have something to hide.Perhaps they are hiding their collusion with radical, environmental terrorist groups to prevent the economic development of the Western Slope. Perhaps they are hiding their efforts to block public access for hunters, campers and mountain bikers to publicly-owned state and federal land.Perhaps they are embarrassed by the partisan nature of their style of governance and their close association with out-of-touch liberal extremists.We will never know, because Houpt and Goodtimes have used the power and influence of their office to flaunt Colorado law. They have attached illegal additional expense to my CORA requests, in the hopes that I will simply go away. Sadly, I have no other choice but to simply go away. I don’t have access to the coffers of George Soros or the liberal elites in Denver. I’m not an operative of the Republican Party, as some have suggested, nor do I work for the liberal punching bags like Halliburton or Shell Oil. I do not have the funds to respond to their outrageous attempts at extortion. It is also important to note that these requests were not a publicity stunt. I have been reticent to take press calls because I was not filing these requests to garner press attention.I hope that voters across the state will remember this come election time. We have learned a valuable lesson about Ms. Houpt and Mr. Goodtimes, and indeed about the liberals they keep company with. They are not interested in open government, nor are they are not interested in following Colorado law. They are interested in hiding the evidence of their partisan, anti-growth agendas.The people of Colorado deserve real leadership, not radical environmentalist activists. Lucius B. O’Dell is from Berthod, Colo.
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Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or email@example.com