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Legi-Staff Blustering over LegiStorm

Congressional staffers are outraged that a private company has publicized public information.

Capitol Hill staffers are required to file financial disclosure forms, which contain sensitive information, including home addresses and signatures.

According to LegiStorm, the company involved in the dispute, some staffers included information that is not required, such as children’s names and investment account numbers.

The U.S. House of Representatives has released this information to the public.

Then LegiStorm, which promotes government transparency, published some of the sensitive information–provoking outrage by the staffers.

That’s right: House staffers are whining that LegiStorm has published information made public by the House.

In response to the outcry, LegiStorm has said that it would re-post redacted records if the taxpayers pick up the costs of blacking out the sensitive information.

For its part, the House Ethics Committee has announced that it will change the disclosure forms to withhold home addresses and signatures from the public.

Of course, that’s what it should have done in the first place. And staffers shouldn’t have voluntarily included sensitive information on publicly available forms if they didn’t want the information to be available publicly.

But the finger-pointing at LegiStorm only highlights Congress’s aversion to accountability. Congress, not LegiStorm, is responsible for making the information public in the first place.

And if Congress is that irresponsible with staffers’ personal information, what do you think it will do with yours?

26 thoughts on “Legi-Staff Blustering over LegiStorm

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  7. What’s great for the staffers is that they can spend inordinate amounts of time attacking Legistorm for mistakes made by the staffers themselves or their bosses, and also lobby their bosses for changes in the law and/or to sue Legistorm, all while they’re right their at work on the public payroll. But I’m sure that if I called any one of them with a personal complaint of my own about some law that aggrieved me, I would get the same personal attnetion and a quick inside track to lobby the congressperson of my choice.

  8. What’s odd is that LegiStorm seems to have immediately removed the most sensitive information from the small handful of disclosures that had truly sensitive information, like account numbers and Social Security numbers.

    The only objectionable remaining items seem to be their home addresses and their signatures. The former are available in the phone book. The latter are hardly required for the vast majority of identity theft to occur. It’s also only useful if the identity thieves have combined that information with sensitive information they already have gathered on the person. It’s not that there’s zero risk but it’s hugely improbable.

    What these staffers really seem so upset about is that citizens and journalists now have a good way to monitor their activities.

  9. I got an idea–instead of referring to them as “staff”, we could just start calling them “Hey YOU!” This gives me a name tag idea…not that I’m one of these feminazis or anything. 🙂

  10. This is an interesting issue.

    In Henrico County, many of the lesbians on the library staff began wearing generic name tags that read “Staff” rather than wearing a name.

    This was done under the auspices of maintaining “privacy” even though none of the staff had ever been adversely effected by having worn their name, or allowing the citizen/patrons to be able to address them by name.

    My position is that if you are taking a paycheck from the citizens in the form of a government job, the citizens are entitled to know who you are.

    As for the disclosure of home addresses, I can see how that could frighten some bureaucrats, especially those who spend all week abusing their fellow citizens. They would really like to be able to hide from those whom whom they have visited harm. Imagine, if every bureaucrat had to treat the citizens as though each citizen was going to show up at the bureaucrat’s home for Sunday dinner?

    One irony in this situation is that the lesbo-feminazis who are always so keen on operating on the government payroll in either an anonymous status or under false names, is that these are the same people who are more than happy to have the names and addresses of firearms owners and dealers published, without their knowledge or consent.

    If you are willing to take a paycheck from the people, then your name and where you live must be a matter of public record. If you want your residence and name to be private, then don’t take a check from the public coffers.

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