by Max Brantley
I see Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and Chris Heller, attorney for the Little Rock School District, have worked out a controversy fabricated by McDaniel over his office's request for documents from the district in the ongoing litigation over the state's failure to review desegregation implications in charter school approval.
McDaniel demagogued — successfully, judging by press coverage — the appearance that Little Rock was an enemy of free information. The district, however, was only attempting to get needed leniency from FOI time rules for an enormous information request. In case you care, here's a copy of the letter by which McDaniel requested information. It's a daunting list.
While this lawsuit, now dismissed, was pending, I made an FOI request for the identical information sought by McDaniel, as a citizen. Heller said the district would gladly supply it and it has been steadily arriving for me since then — gigantic document dumps. I didn't demand a three-day compliance window, as Heller feared McDaniel was attempting to enforce. Heller had told me the information would be thousands of pages from 50 sources, so extra time seemed reasonable.
Demagoguery done, McDaniel can now proceed with acting like an adult in court.