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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "Democrats want details of Pence public relations spending"

Dan Carden reports today in the NWI Times in a story that begins:

INDIANAPOLIS | Hoosier Democrats are demanding Gov. Mike Pence detail exactly what Indiana received for the $365,000 it paid an international public relations firm to improve the state's image following April's "religious freedom" debacle.

John Zody, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, submitted a public records request to the Republican governor Monday seeking copies of all email messages, documents and agreements involving state officials and PR firm Porter Novelli.

"Mike Pence wasn't being transparent with Hoosiers when he terminated the taxpayer-funded contract with Porter Novelli the day before a long holiday weekend," Zody said. "Hoosiers need to know their tax dollars are being managed properly."

The state's commerce agency, known as the Indiana Economic Development Corp., announced Thursday afternoon it was ending the six-month, $750,000 contract just six weeks after it was signed.

Later in the story:
The joint termination agreement requires the IEDC and Porter Novelli keep confidential all aspects of the firm's work for the state and data provided by the state to the company.

It's not clear whether Indiana's open records law can force the governor's office to share Porter Novelli's work with the Democrats or anyone else who requests it.

ILB: That agreement looks to bear parallels to a settlement agreement between the government and a private entity... See this May 30, 2013 ILB post on past efforts to keep settlement agreements secret.

The NWI Times story today includes links to the IEDC professional services agreement with Porter Novelli, and to the termination agreement, as well as the Indiana Democrats request for records of Porter Novelli work.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 7, 2015 12:50 PM
Posted to Indiana Government