Florida Phoenix by Michael Moline
July 26, 2019
The state wants the Florida Phoenix to pay more than $2,700 before it will turn over public records relating to a trip that Gov. Ron DeSantis and nearly 100 people – including the state’s elected Cabinet – took May 25-31 to Israel.
An Enterprise Florida spokeswoman says that’s the cost in staff time spent processing 16,288 pages of emails and attachments where DeSantis administration staffers mentioned the search terms “Jerusalem” and “mission” leading up to the trip.
State officials have yet to release the full cost of sending the state officials overseas, where they met with a variety of Israeli officials, political donors, and held a Florida Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
Other media organizations in the capital press corps say some of their public records requests to the DeSantis administration have been met with zero response, lengthy delays (some requests were made six months ago), and, at least in one other case, an invoice for $2,800.
The Phoenix requested the information more than three months ago – on April 16. Enterprise Florida sent its billing estimate on July 16, well after the Florida delegation returned from Israel, meaning the Phoenix couldn’t pass along the information in time to let the readers know what they were paying for beforehand. The governor’s communications office attributed the delay in part to a backlog inherited from the Rick Scott administration. [Read More]