What do Terrorism, E. Coli, the Sunshine Law and Governor Nixon Have in Common?


  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mshades/ / CC BY-ND 2.0
There's a new terrorism-flavored twist in "E. coli-gate."

(Quick refresher: an investigation by the Kansas City Star in July revealed that the state knew that E. coli levels in the Lake of the Ozarks were really high, but didn't publicize them for fear of hurting tourism; the big political question is: What did Governor Nixon know, and when did he know it? The Post-Dispatch gives some nice context here)

Now, contrary to what internal e-mails suggest, the Governor's office has denied holding a June 3 meeting with another state official to discuss the E. coli problem. So our colleagues down at the News-Leader in Springfield got an idea: let's request the footage from a security camera trained on the Governor's office door to see who went in and out that day!

(Under Missouri's Sunshine Law, which is sort of the Freedom of Information Act for our state, you can request this kind of thing).

Well, police in the state capitol have refused to release the footage of the Governor's office door, citing an exception in the Sunshine Law that says they needn't release records if doing so would help terrorists be terrorist-y. Specifically, they said, the footage might reveal some blind spots around the office door that could compromise security.

A few state senators and representatives of the Republican persuasion seem to think that the terrorism fear in this particular case (involving a Democratic governor) is a big pile of horse dung. The Daily RFT cannot fathom why.

Check out the full story here.


Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.