State Rep. Klick needs to comply with ruling by attorney general

Posted Friday, Oct. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A public official has the right to interact with a not-for-profit, self-described nonpartisan lobbying group pushing an agenda of “limited government, free markets, federalism and individual liberty.”

But that official does not have the right to keep her correspondence with that group a secret from the public. At least that is how Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott ruled this week in deciding that state Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, had to release documents dealing with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a “membership association for conservative state lawmakers.”

Klick this summer had declined to produce the documents requested by the Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy. She and ALEC contended that to do so would: 1) infringe on members’ freedom of association, 2) interfere with her deliberative process privilege and 3) violate copyright law.

Abbott, in ruling that Klick must release the documents, rejected those claims, but he did note that “any information subject to copyright may be released only in accordance with copyright law.”

The state representative said her office is trying to figure out a way to mechanically produce the material without breaking copyright law. She wondered how that could be done without copying the material

“We are looking at the ruling and trying to figure out how to do it,” she said.

This should not be complicated. There should not be much to figure out.

The attorney general’s ruling seems pretty clear. It seems all Klick needs to do now is comply — fully.

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