5 gubernatorial candidates would veto bill exempting birth dates of public employees; Edmondson says he would sign legislation
Five of the six announced gubernatorial candidates said on Saturday that if they were governor, they would veto legislation exempting public employees birth dates from the state Open Records Act.
Only Attorney General Drew Edmondson, a Democratic candidate, said he would sign the bill.
The Legislature is entitled under the Open Records Act to decide which information in the personnel files of public employees would be considered "an unwarranted invasion of privacy," Edmondson told the audience at FOI Oklahoma's third-annual Sunshine Week conference.
Edmondson said that did not mean he would concede his veto power each time legislators write an exemption to the state Open Records Act.
When asked how he had voted when the bill came before the full Senate on Feb. 18, Brogdon said he didn't know.
Brogdon voted for the bill when it passed the Senate by 44-0 vote with no debate on the floor.
After being told how he voted, Brogdon said, "I am not in favor of hiding information so the final product as it comes out I will certainly vote accordingly."
Also saying they would veto the legislation were Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, a Democrat, and Republican candidates Congresswoman Mary Fallin, Robert Hubbard and Roger L. Jackson.
The conference was the first time all six announced gubernatorial candidates had attended the same event to speak on a topic.
In the morning sessions, experts on privacy emphasized that birth dates in public records do not pose a threat of identity theft.
Joey Senat, Ph.D.
OSU School of Journalism