On April 14, I made a public records request of the Municipal Water District of Orange County to get the travel related expenses of Director Brett Barbre. You remember this fine fellow, don’t you? He’s the guy who was paid $48,000 by Tom Daly to “study” the idea of a sports hall of fame. He also kicked back $1000 into Daly’s campaign kitty. Now that doesn’t look very good does it? Especially for a Republican. Or for any honest man, really.
Part of Barbre’s supposed labors for Daly included a trip to Boston to visit some sports museum there (he never even bothered contacting the folks who started the first one right here in OC!). In his ‘report” he documented a side trip to Fenway Park. Barbre’s later plaint to Jennifer Muir that he paid for that Boston trip himself seems to have made an impression on the lassitudinous journalistic curiosity of Ms Muir, but not on mine. I wanted to find out if maybe the Boston junket itself wasn’t some sort of side trip already paid for by the Water District. I’ve just become so darn cynical when it comes to repuglicans.
And so I asked for Barbre’s travel expenses for the district.
Two week later on April, 28th (four days late) I got the District’s response from someone called Darcy M. Burke, Director of Public Affairs. I received no documents at all. What I got was an e-mail that attached a simple spreadsheet tallying Barbre’s expenses into periodic totals, presumably assembled by Burke. Not a single bit of specific information did I receive although I did get an unsolicited commercial about how much Director Barbre’s junketeering brings home to the Water District. Hmm.
Okay. So now I was really really curious about why they’re not releasing documents – just regurgitated, masticated, and useless pabulum.
Since April 28th I have left several messages and sent several e-mails following up with a demand for the specifics that should have been provided in the first place. All my efforts to communicate with the Water District’s Director of Public Affairs were met with a stony silence, until yesterday when Burke informed me that these things take time. And that only makes me more curious than ever about why she might be stonewalling.
Think they’re trying to hide something?