Another e-mail deletion scandal as nobody in the State House can find any e-mail from Romney's administration
As Mitt Romney has taken to the national public stage as a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, Deval Patrick's administration has been asked many times to provide e-mails from Romney's time as governor. The catch: they can't find any to hand out.
Romney's staff paid the state to take their hard drives with them in a move Romney's campaign is calling "a longtime executive branch practice". The server was wiped completely and the computers in the State House were even replaced. As a result the State House now has no electronic mail archive from anyone between 2002-2006.
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Don't worry. The mainstream media will make sure this story loses legs. Sure, The Boston Globe reported it but they are just trying to line things up for another Obama victory. Full disclosure, I'm a huge Ron Paul supporter.
How long are they required to keep them?
Most government record keeping laws have time limits dictating how long they have to keep records.
If he removed them before that time limit (or refused to release them within the time limit), then he might be breaking the law.
I don't know about how long legally
But typical tape backup retention policies max out at about seven years. They can be set to infinity, but that is pretty impractical, and most places go with six months to seven years.
Those emails are not considered "public records" in Massachusetts.
Dan Kennedy has a good treatment of the issue here:
My understanding is that the emails were saved. On paper.
Making them difficult to search, thusly burying whatever the Romney camp felt worthy of burying, while still allowing them to howl innocence when called on deleting the electronic version.
Aren't they clever?
That's a strategy that worked well 5 years ago
but not so well now. OCR technology has gotten very good. If it is indeed the case that paper copies are available, they will be digitized quickly enough and then become searchable.
All the article says is that there's a few hundred reams of paper records from the Romney administration. It doesn't say that any of them are the e-mails, printed or otherwise.
What is confounding to me is that the whole amazing thing about digital technology is the INSTANT PERFECT DUPLICATION FEATURE it has. This is exactly why the federal government is colluding with the MPAA and RIAA to turn off our internet with SOPA (look it up, it's very real, very likely to pass, and very scary). So, fine, you want a copy of your hard drive because you don't want to lose your Minesweeper scores? Here, here's a COPY. We're keeping the original. It's OURS TO KEEP because we are the public that gave it to you to USE in the first place.
Can't find citation
That was my understanding from something I heard on the news this morning, but it is possible that I heard a reference to the paper records and misinterpreted that to include the emails. I can't find a similar reference in a quick troll through written news articles over the past 24 hours, so take my assertion for what it's worth.:)
Can't figure out what this reminds me of...
Why is this not a capital crime yet?
If I deleted email at work without proper archiving, even trash, I would be fired and possibly litigated on ISO 2007 related charges.
And I'm not even governmental.
Nothing to see here.
If I deleted email at work
I have to delete work e-mails all the time because Mordac only sees fit to provide me with 1/20th of the space that Hotmail gives me for free.
Love the response by Mittens..
Filing a FOIA request for any and all e-mails between the Patrick camp and the Obama camp. The best defense is usually a good offense, but this is just offensive. Mittens gets bagged deleting e-mails from his administration, so he tries to turn it around by trying to make it seem like Patrick and Obama are in collusion against him.
Well, DUH. Mitt Romney will never be President, so he's trying to blame everyone but himself for the fact that his own party can't stand him. Also, I believe those e-mails probably contain damning correspondence regarding Romneycare that his campaign is scared shitless will get out. Opposition research is a bitch.
Nothing of interest?
So said Todd Domke this morning on WBUR: "Fortunately for Mitt Romney his administration was pretty forgettable so I think this will remain mostly a local issue." I'm not so sure. Romney's ducking reporters' questions all day is definitely fanning interest.
You can hear the discussion with Dan Payne here:
The pertinent segment begins around 4:17
Romney et al channeling Martin Lomasney?
You know, "Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink."
Twenty-first century corollary: And leave no hard drive behind!