Gov. Jack Dalrymple avoids discussing the Dakota Access Pipeline protests over email because “it’s too important,” his spokesman told the Fargo Forum.
Dalrymple turned over exactly zero emails in response to the Forum’s public records request for any DAPL-related emails sent or received by the governor from August to November.
Spokesman Jeff Zent says the governor “seldom” uses his state email account, preferring in-person meetings and phone calls:
“Email can be misconstrued. The governor feels it is not conducive to his communication needs. You don’t reach a meeting of the minds through email.”
The side-benefit of not using email is that there’s nothing to release when you’re hit with an open records request.
“When you’re talking about this protest and all that we’re having to do to maintain public safety, it’s too important to email,” Zent also said.
Elected officials’ emails are public for a reason. Citizens have a right to know what their representatives are saying and doing on their behalf. Reporters often use emails to reveal the inner workings of government.
By refusing to use email, Dalrymple avoids this scrutiny altogether. Clever boy.
Still, it’s hard to believe that the governor did not receive a single DAPL-related email in three months, as he claims.
The Forum made the same public records request of Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley. In response, Wrigley said he didn’t send a single DAPL-related email. However he received two DAPL-related emails: one from a National Guard general, and another from a Morton County prosecutor.
If you’ve had any email contact with Dalrymple or Wrigley regarding the protests, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.