by Max Brantley
1) Yes, the state-provided email addresses for employees can be obtained via a records request under FOIA. The State maintains a publicly accessible directory of state employees on the Arkansas.gov domain, which includes the option of downloading directory information. You can find it here - http://www.arkansas.gov/directory/download.html - if you click on the link labeled “personnel.txt” you will get what appears to be a complete list of employee official contact information.I've asked under FOI for a list of key words used to filter out "spam."
2. We have received a few questions and complaints from employees regarding the mailer. Nothing official.
3. I haven’t been able to find a specific policy on email solicitations. However, we get a lot of unsolicited emails – aka “spam” – and have established spam filters to weed out unwanted messages.
First of all, the Governor’s Office was not involved in the sending of this email. Secondly, the email addresses of state employees is a matter of public record, and we cannot control who sends or receives these emails. However, there is an appropriate concern that state employees do not give out their email address for private political purposes. We are not aware of that happening, but we are reviewing agency policies in that regard.That prompted one followup question from me: As the effective leader of both the state GOP and state government, shouldn't the governor encourage the Party not to do broad solicitations of state employees, for fear of appearing to apply political pressure?