Update: 8/11/2014 – Governor Mary Fallin released dozens of secret documents related to Obamacare on Monday. The documents were part of an ongoing lawsuit between the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma and the Governor’s Office.
It appears most of the documents between Fallin’s staff and other lawmakers are about creating a state operated healthcare exchange under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Other e-mails focus on how to announce the governor’s decision not to support the state operated healthcare exchange and when to release it to the public.
Governor Fallin released the following statement after voluntarily releasing the documents:
“I firmly believe and the court has affirmed that it is important to protect the legal right of governors to receive candid and private advice. However, I am committed to transparency. I have decided to waive the protection provided by the court so the public can understand the process that went into the policy decision not to implement an Obamacare exchange or Medicaid expansion, both of which would be unsustainable costs to the state and bad public policy.”
Scroll down to see details on a judges ruling stating the Governor didn’t have to release the documents but rather a log of the exchanges.
Executive Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma Ryan Kiesel said, “If the Governor had simply produced these documents nearly two years ago in compliance with the Open Records Act, the people of Oklahoma could have been afforded greater transparency and spared unnecessary legal cost. The precedent the Governor is attempting to create would allow the Executive Branch of our state to hide behind bogus privileges, and only reveal requested documents after months of litigation and before untested legal arguments are reviewed by the state’s highest court. Along with our client, we intend to move forward to ensure that the current and future Governors of our great state do not get a blank check when it comes to following the law.”
Legal Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma Brady Henderson added, “While the people of Oklahoma can celebrate a short-term victory in finally seeing these documents come to light, the long-tern problem of a Governor’s Office attempting to place itself above public accountability remains no less real. Our work must now shift to ensuring that the Governor’s Office cannot continue to repeat the same tactics of secrecy and stonewalling that have defined its relationship with the press and people of Oklahoma.”
OKLAHOMA – There’s new development in the document lawsuit against Governor Mary Fallin.
Brady Henderson, a Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Fallin stating by law Governor Fallin is required by law to hand over 31 documents, related to her decision to reject Obamacare.
Henderson referred to the Open Records act in this suit.
On June 17, Judge Barbara Swinton said the governor must turn over a log of emails with who sent the emails, who they were sent to along with the date and subject line.
The governor’s office had refused to hand over the documents regarding her decision to not setup a state healthcare exchange and expand Medicaid.
The ACLU argues those emails are public information while the governor maintains executive privilege.
Today on 6/27/14, Brady Henderson with the ACLU filed another brief asking for clarification in the judge’s orders.