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State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) [2019 file photo].

A press release from Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D):

Statement from Auditor Galloway on Governor’s improper use of First Amendment

State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released the following statement in response to a determination made by the Attorney General’s Office related to Sunshine Law exemptions as claimed by Gov. Parson’s Office. This spring, reports revealed that Gov. Parson’s office failed to disclose information in response to Sunshine Law requests, citing the First Amendment.

“The Attorney General’s letter confirms Gov. Parson was wrong to withhold information from the public. Nonpartisan advocates for government transparency and legal experts all agree the Governor’s actions were unlawful.

“I will continue to fight for transparency and openness at all levels of Missouri government. Missourians deserve nothing less.”

In a May 7 request, Auditor Galloway asked for legal clarification on whether it is appropriate to redact information related to individuals conducting business with, lobbying or attempting to influence a government entity. The Attorney General’s Office has since advised that practice is not appropriate.

In the letter to State Auditor Nicole Galloway from the office of Attorney General Eric Schmitt (r):

In the letter to Governor Mike Parson (r) from the office of Attorney General Eric Schmitt (r):

The press release from the attorney general’s office:

AG Schmitt Recommends Against Using the First Amendment for Blanket Redaction in Letters to Governor Parson, Auditor Galloway
Aug 30, 2019, 09:07 AM

Jefferson City, Mo. – Yesterday, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office issued a letter to Governor Mike Parson and Auditor Nicole Galloway regarding the use of the First Amendment to redact personal contact information in response to Sunshine Law requests.

The letter to Governor Parson, a response to a request for advice from the Governor’s office, states, “We recommend that your Office not rely on the First Amendment for blanket redactions of personal contact information.”[….]

Governor Mike Parson (r) [2018 file photo].

And Governor Parson (r) still thinks otherwise:

….Gov. Mike Parson will continue to redact certain information from public records, despite a letter from the attorney general’s office Thursday advising him to stop using the First Amendment as justification to withhold records from public disclosure….

A response on social media:

@GovParsonMO likes it in the dark, just like @EricGreitens did.

Is anyone surprised?