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Ohio


Should threats against the governor be kept secret?
Ohio Supreme Court weighs public records case 
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 

The Ohio Supreme Court has heard arguments in a dispute over the state's decision to withhold records from a political blogger trying to document threats against Gov. John Kasich. The Democratic-leaning political blog Plunderbund sought investigative files of any threats against Kasich or his staff in an August 2012 public-records request. The Ohio Department of Public Safety refused to release the records, citing security concerns.

During testimony today, Justice Paul Pfeifer told public safety lawyer Robin Mathews that the state withholding potential threats against the governor contributes to increased scrutiny and fear.

LISTEN: Pfeifer and Mathews

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“This case may be about very little at all," Pfeifer said. "But it’s become media hype and the state has contributed to that. Everybody’s left in the dark so the conspiracy theorists run away with it all."

 “I don’t believe the department has contributed…I mean, the media will do what the media will do,” Mathews said in response.  

Mathews says Ohio’s law makes clear the government can shield the records from public view for Kasich’s protection. Plunderbund argues that the law provides for partial release of the documents with sensitive parts blacked out.

A decision is expected soon. 

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