Michigan House Unanimously Expands FOIA to Include Governor and Legislature

The Michigan House unanimously passed a flurry of bipartisan bills seeking to reform the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by including the governor and legislature under the new Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).

The House passed the package during “Sunshine Week,” which celebrates government transparency, and after reporters used FOIA to expose Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration gifting $253,000 in secret, taxpayer-funded  severance packages.

The bill package is virtually identical to bills introduced in the 2015-16, 2017-8, and the 2019-20 legislative session other than technical changes and effective dates.

Those packages all failed.

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University of Michigan Just Proved only a Government Bureaucracy Can Take 200+ Days to do a Seven Hour Job

A Freedom of Information Act request from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni concerning an endowment gift to the University of Michigan has led to a lawsuit against the school for not responding.

According to the complaint, ACTA filed the request on behalf of an alumnus who wanted to obtain information relating to an endowed gift. The lawsuit explains that the University’s initial response came five days later than legally required, along with an estimate that it would take approximately seven hours to complete, and up to forty-five days to produce the documents along with a fee.

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Lawsuit on Fulton County Mail-In Ballots Still Underway, Ruling Anticipated Next Week

A judgment allowing or prohibiting the inspection of Fulton County’s mail-in ballots may occur as early as next week. The plaintiffs, organized by the election integrity organization Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia (VoterGA), have been engaged in litigation for nearly a month to obtain an inspection of those ballots.

VoterGA had anticipated receiving a ruling allowing them to inspect the county’s mail-in ballots during their last hearing on January 15. However, after three hours debating the county’s compliance with open records requests concerning the mail-in ballots, akin to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requirements, Chief Judge Brian Amero decided to only address that issue.

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In the Dead of Night, House Speaker Filler-Corn Removed Confederate Statues for $83K – and Lied About the Documents, Lawsuit Claims

Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) faces a lawsuit for falsely denying the existence of records documenting the $83,000 removal of the Capitol’s Confederate monuments.

The plaintiff in the case, David Webster II, requested documents under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from Filler-Corn upon learning she’d removed the Confederate statues and busts. In her response, Filler-Corn states repeatedly “The requested records do not exist.” However, Webster II discovered many of the documents in question.

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House Passes Bill to Make Police Investigation Records Public

The House on Thursday passed legislation that would allow the public to view past police investigative records.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Chris Hurst (D-Montgomery County), passed the Democratic-majority body by a vote of 59-Y 37-N, and three not voting, mostly along party lines except for five Republican delegates voting on the prevailing side.

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Michigan Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Resident Seeking FOIA Records

The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday ruled 6-1 in favor of a Michigan resident attempting to acquire public records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Susan Bisio had sued the city of the Village of Clarkston in the Oakland Circuit Court claiming it is violating FOIA requirements in 2015.

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Public Policy Group Files Records Request to Allow Ohioans Access to the Math Behind Health Department’s COVID-19 Model

The Ohio Roundtable filed a Freedom of Information request with Dr. Amy Acton of the Ohio Department of Health to allow all Ohioans to “see the math” behind the construction of Dr. Acton’s latest model which is controlling public policy decisions in Ohio.

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Judge Orders Hillary Clinton to Appear for Deposition as Part of Judicial Watch Lawsuit

A federal judge on Monday ordered Hillary Clinton to appear for a deposition as part of a lawsuit filed by the watchdog group Judicial Watch, saying in a ruling that the former secretary of state’s written responses so far in the case have “left many more questions than answers” about her decision to use a private email system while in office.

Judge Royce Lamberth also granted Judicial Watch permission to depose Cheryl Mills, a top aide to Clinton at the State Department.

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FOIA Documents Show the City of Detroit, Wayne County, Mailed Property Assessment Three Weeks Later Than Original Claim

The Coalition for Property Tax Justice filed a federal class-action lawsuit claiming the city of Detroit, Wayne County, and state officials “eviscerated” every homeowners’ due process rights by denying them the ability to appeal inflated property taxes.

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EXCLUSIVE: Report Shows FBI Official Received Sports Tickets From CNN Reporter And Lied About It To Investigators

The FBI’s top press officer during the Hillary Clinton and Trump-Russia investigations accepted tickets to a Washington Nationals game from a CNN correspondent and lied about it repeatedly during interviews with the Justice Department’s inspector general, according to a report obtained by The Daily News Foundation.

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Obama White House Tracked FOIA Request for Hillary Emails that Was Improperly Denied

by Chuck Ross   The Obama White House kept tabs on a Freedom of Information Act request for information on former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s email accounts that the State Department improperly denied, according to newly released emails. The emails, which were provided to Judicial Watch, show for the…

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Wisconsin Dem Stands Outside ICE HQ Asking for Response to His FOIA Request

Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI-02) recently stood outside U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) headquarters asking for answers about a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request he submitted. Pocan claims the request was filed in October 2018 and sought information on the “arrests of 83 individuals in Wisconsin,” who…

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Democrat Abigail Spanberger Unhappy Her Past Was Revealed

Abigail Spanberger

by Richard McCarty   Abigail Spanberger is mad. Real mad – and threatening legal action against the Congressional Leadership Fund. Spanberger is the Democrat candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 7th District. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC, recently obtained a document showing that Spanberger worked at the controversial Islamic Saudi Academy in…

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