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The week that was

August 18, 2013
Minot Daily News

COSTLY REQUESTS No one should be at all surprised that State Rep. Bob Skarphol is one of the lawmakers who have made open records requests to the state seeking information behind the ouster of former chancellor Hamid Shirvani. Skarphol, of Tioga, said he has made "a request or two," but wasn't responsible for all of the open records requests regarding emails pertaining the Shirvani debacle. The dozen requests are expected to generate more than 100,000 emails, and cost the state up to $40,000 to fulfill. We have no issue with open record requests, obviously. It's a necessary part of having an open form of government in this state. Skarphol was one of Shirvani's supporters during the ousted chancellor's year in office. What do he and other legislators hope to accomplish by searching through thousands of emails? Some legislators have said the requests are unnecessaray and frivolous, but the bottom line is Skarphol and others have the legal right to request the information. We believe they should answer questions as to their intent, although as citizens they don't have to do that. But as lawmakers, they have a duty to act responsibly and with the best interests of North Dakota in mind, rather than take part in a self-serving vendetta.



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