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Dark Side of Sunshine 

The city correspondence with one determined citizen is now more than 2,300 pages--even longer than War and Peace.

Wednesday, Mar 28 2007
Our esteemed rivals over at the Bay Guardian recently ran a story lionizing nettlesome government gadflies — dubbed "The Sunshine Posse" by the paper — who, in our view, too often do more harm than good in pursuing their obsessions. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that a paper owned by a crank would side with other cranks — even though we thought the leftoids might draw the line at championing the most vexing gadfly of them all, Kimo Crossman.

Back in October, Sucka Free called out Crossman for "deluging city workers with e-mails, [and] asking for the same documents over and over." At the time, city officials estimated it had cost taxpayers at least $200,000 processing and responding to Crossman's numerous records requests under the city's Sunshine Ordinance. Since January 2006 Crossman has generated more than 2,350 pages and 621,000 words of correspondence between himself and the office of City Attorney Dennis Herrera — more than Tolstoy needed to write War and Peace, observes Matt Dorsey, Herrera's press flack.

The Guardian did at least quote Dorsey criticizing Crossman about his frequent demands, saying, "I've had to stop the office a couple of times. There are 300 people in this office."

Predictably, Crossman couldn't just let Dorsey's jab go, and now he is asking for documents — like time sheets, billing records, e-mails — showing that Dorsey has actually stopped the office because of Kimo's earlier Sunshine demands. "This is an effort to use the Sunshine Ordinance to punish me for saying something that doesn't reflect well on him in a newspaper article," Dorsey says.

Crossman sent us a written statement saying that, "Matt continues to spew diatribes and wasting [sic] city money defending his mistake when he should just apologize. No office has been halted."

Dorsey concedes that Crossman's requests haven't caused an immediate standstill, but rather a serial stoppage as he polls different divisions for any records that might be pertinent. "In his efforts to prove I have never had to stop the office," Dorsey quips, "I'm going to have to stop the office."

Expect another Sunshine request after this story comes out, Matty.

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Will Harper


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