Rick Jensen of WDEL fame replied to the stunning attempt by Rep. Earl Jaques to silence Rep. John Kowalko from an email chain yesterday and put Jaques in his rightful place on the issue:
The viewpoints of any State Representative or State Senator on public policy are absolutely permitted (and encouraged) for public dissemination via official email.
What should outrage every journalist and supporter of the First Amendment is Earl Jacques trying to suppress the comments of a Rep who disagrees with him.
Kowalko does, indeed base his opinions on facts, Mr. Jacques.
As many people on this list you made public know, Mr. Jacques, I may not agree with many of them on many issues, but I have never tried to suppress their professional opinions as you are attempting with Mr. Kowalko. In fact, I invite the contrast and debate for our many thousands of listeners to decide for themselves which policies to support and which to work against.
Are you going to try to suppress everyone on this email list when they disagree with you about some policy, Mr. Jacques?
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Updated, 12:16pm: And it gets even more heated! Because Earl responded to Rick Jensen!
From: Jaques, Jr, Earl (LegHall) [mailto:Earl.Jaques@state.de.us]
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 11:32 AM
To: Jensen, Rick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Reflections on NAEP score declines and who’s/what’s responsible
First Rick, my name is spelled JAQUES – no “c”. No I’m not in anyway trying to suppress his opinion. He has every right to his opinion as do you and I. But I just don’t think that the state email system is the best place for this type of comments. Maybe a better place would be a “Letter to the Editor” or a posting on a blog. Finally, you are making the assumption that I disagree with Rep Kowalko. But no where in my email do I state that as the reason for him not posting on the state email system. I just don’t believe that the state email system is the place for his bias opinion and rants!
And Jensen quickly shot a retort to Jaques!
From: “Jensen, Rick” <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 12:06 PM
Subject: RE: Reflections on NAEP score declines and who’s/what’s responsible
Earl “Jaques not Jacques,”
If you’re so concerned about lawmakers sharing their “bias opinion and rants” with fellow stakeholders on state.de.us email, then why are you ranting your “bias opinion” to me on state email?
Every opinion has bias. Bias per ideology, bias per research, bias per studies, etc. The problem is your declaring a State Rep has no business communicating his or her opinion on policy to fellow stakeholders via state email.
Would you please forward to this email address of all of your state.de.us emails to see if, perhaps, you have followed your own prescription?
Feel free to omit those emails that pertain to personal and sensitive information from and about constituents.