(Updated) Readers: Should I pay Hubin $236? Revealed preference: Yes

11/26/2012 update: Geller is still redacting the contracts and invoices on legal advice about the union – it’s been more than a month now since I asked for them. But Dave Hubin did send me a copy of the emails between him and Geller on the subject of UO’s fee-waiver denial. That’s right, UO is redacting Geller’s advice to Dave Hubin about granting fee waivers. Batshit crazy:

11/16/2012: We got 16 donations for a total of $180. I converted the bottle of scotch to its dollar equivalent and put us over the top. That hurt, but these public records will be public. Randy Geller is now going through Rudnick’s invoices with his magic marker – remember Randy, there’s a law about what you can’t redact, so keep a steady hand and when in doubt consult your GC Emerita.

I want to know why a simple request like this took so long. So I made another request:

… this is a public records request for any emails between your office, the GC’s office, and/or Dave Hubin about the public records request below. 

I ask for a fee waiver on the grounds of public interest. The public has an interest in how UO follows the public records law. The DOJ argues that 2 weeks is normally a reasonable time to fill a public records request. This was a simple public records request of the sort other public agencies typically fill within days, and which in the past UO has – sometimes – filled promptly. It’s now more than 3 weeks and it still has not been filled.

This round’s on me, but the chipin is still open, any additional donations go to refill the liquor cabinet.

11/14/2012: Three weeks ago I sent this to Dave Hubin’s public records office:

I am asking for any contracts or invoices for legal advice or consulting, legal or otherwise, relating to the faculty union, from 3/20/2012 to the present.

Yesterday, after a petition to DA Alex Gardner, I got back this:

Dear Mr. X:  

The University of Oregon has received your public records request “any contracts or invoices for legal advice or consulting, legal or otherwise, relating to the faculty union, from 3/20/2012 to the present” on 10/24/2012, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request.  By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.  

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $235.88. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon for that amount, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure.  …

UO can waive fees on the basis of public interest, but Dave’s refused to do that. What do people think? Should I pay Hubin his money? 11/14/2012. And thanks to readers for the chipin.com idea (it takes a while for donations to show up but we’re already at $25 $75 $125 + 1 bottle of scotch):

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25 Responses to (Updated) Readers: Should I pay Hubin $236? Revealed preference: Yes

  1. kangaroo says:

    Set up a kickstarter – I’d pay $10 of that, and I’m not even in the bargaining unit.

    Crowd-sourced funding for public records requests would really turn the table on the fees they’re charging – it’s a lot for one person to pay over and over again, which has the intended “chilling effect” – but it’s hardly anything to raise among a larger group of people.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Brilliant. Although I already pay my taxes for this.

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    • Paul Samuelson says:

      Don’t think of this as a tax! Think of it as a chance to earn some warm glow by making a personal expression of your belief in the importance of transparency at UO.

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    • Anonymous says:

      As a taxpayer, I expect my government-paid employees to answer to me without additional pay. Isn’t that how this country was set up?

      On the other hand, UO Matters could you please choose a crowd source platform that doesn’t require a PayPal account?

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    • UO Matters says:

      Do you have a recommendation? Chipin.com is also very slow updating, I think just nightly.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Great idea, but Kickstarter is only for creative projects, not charity. Try http://www.chipin.com/ instead.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I agree on crowd-sourcing; you should do this more often. But I must say this particular subject/request is not one that moves me, or strikes me as of public interest. Maybe it’s because I’m anti-union?

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    • UO Matters says:

      We’re all about customer service. What records do you want?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Out of curiosity, what makes you think that they will actually give you all such documents even if you do fork over the cash?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Most likely you’d be throwing money down the rat hole — as the docs Hubin & Co would provide would likely be heavily redacted. You’d be paying for his time with the Sharpie black marker pen…

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I think the request for emails on their discussion of public records requests is genius. Good on you, Sir.

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    • UO Matters says:

      I am a genius, but that doesn’t pay Hubin’s public records bills. So pony up, friend!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    No, you should stop wasting people’s time with your endless and pointless records requests and let them do their jobs.

    Just one man’s opinion.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Thanks Randy, now get back to work on the redactions.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with Anonymous above, do these record requests have any use other than to be posted on this blog and stroke your ego? These requests to take up time and money, and where transparency is important, this does not seem the correct forum for that job.

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  9. UO Matters says:

    Well, a previous public records request led to the decision last week to increase athletics department overhead payments to the academic side by $555K.http://www.uomatters.com/2012/11/uo-matters-costs-athletics-555227.html

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  10. UO Matters says:

    Or there’s the public records requests that led to the discovery EcoNW arena report, and kept the Treasury from letting UO sell $200M of potentially illegal tax-exempt revenue bonds.

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  11. UO Matters says:

    Or the requests that led to a DOE Office of Civil Rights investigation of the UO UMRP and led to some substantial reforms.

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  12. UO Matters says:

    Or the requests that led UO to refund $132K in excessive overhead payments to the ASUO.

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  13. UO Matters says:

    Or the requests for info about Charles Martinez’s double dipping that helped convince Lariviere to fire him and hire a competent VP for Diversity.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Your public requests were responsible for all those changes, all by yourself! We are you not our Provost? Tin hats rule!

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you actually read this blog instead of just trolling the comments, you’d know that our provost certainly didn’t fix these things. He broke many of them for others he was off on his $300,000 sabbatical visiting old friends and learning how to scan papers to pdf. How do we know that? This blog got and posted his silly sabbatical plan, just in time to prevent Pernsteiner from appointing him interim UO President.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Chip in is actually closed now. Would donate otherwise.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Thanks! There will be other “giving opportunities” before long.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    My greatest concern is that UO seems to be in over their heads and there is a lot at stake.

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