by Max Brantley
The Pulaski County clerk's office is moving into the 21st century with on-line filings. Through no fault of Clerk Pat O'Brien, a great deal of public record is, however, being withheld from online access by a misguided judicial edict.
There's no reason access to public records should be limited to those with the workday time, means and physical ability to get to the courthouse. In time, EVERYTHING should be on-line. Any argument that there's some special quality to on-line access that justifies censorship falls to the argument that a public record is a public record.
But the news today is about sunshine. O'Brien's office has begun putting statements of personal finances and campaign finance reports on-line. Here's the search page. Little is available at the moment on campaign reports for the primary season, but the process has begun. You'll find personal financial statements from a range of people, including school board and water utility commissioners.