After months of reports on questionable state legislative reimbursements and expenditures related to the Secretary of State’s office, the Republican Party of Arkansas filed an FOIA request for information on state employees, Matt Campbell and Jeff Woodmansee, administrators of the left-leaning Blue Hog Report blog. Campbell works at the Arkansas Supreme Court and Woodmansee is an employee at the UALR law library.
The RPA said it wants to find out if Blue Hog’s bloggers were using state resources or spending state time in their blog efforts. The Supreme Court says it does not have a policy regarding employee uses of blogs or posting on Facebook.
Campbell, a contributor and content partner with Talk Business, pulled the blog down after the FOI request was fulfilled.
He tells Talk Business that he does not think he has acted improperly. The Supreme Court FOI request did not show any proof that Campbell worked on his blog during state hours of employment or using state computers or phones. The law library FOI had not been fulfilled.
RPA executive director Chase Duggar tells Jason Tolbert at the Tolbert Report that the case is not about intimidation. He said he would have filed the request even if Campbell and Woodmansee were conservatives if he believed they were blogging on state time. Duggar denied any connection between the Secretary of State’s office and the FOI request, despite admitting to Tolbert that he met with Secretary of State spokesperson Alice Stewart the day before the FOI requests were made.
In responding to a request for comment from Talk Business, Stewart said, "We don’t comment on partisan issues." However, she did not deny that a meeting took place.