Restricting Government Speech

I have been emailing the Florida Secretary of State today, trying to get information on an article I am writing on corporate minutes scams (something I have blogged about in the past).  The folks in Florida have been helpful, no complaint there, which is why I took the individual's name off the email below.

It is the footer in this email that bothers me, specifically the chart on the bottom left.   My guess is that this footer is appended to all emails from government employees, at least of the Secretary of State's office.  It strikes me the attached chart crosses the line from public information into the majority political party making a campaign point.  Here is an enlargement of the chart:

My guess is that many Democrats in the state would not necessarily agree this is "the right direction".  Certainly President Obama went on the record last week as saying that he thought that the decline in public sector workers was bad, not good.

I think readers know that I likely agree with the sentiments of the people who made this chart.  I think increasing private employment and decreasing public employment is the right direction.  But just as it is important to support free speech of people we disagree with or find objectionable, it is important to oppose government excesses even when we are in favor of its goals.

This is a great campaign chart.  It is not an appropriate attachment to official government business mail.


  1. TJIC:

    I had an argument with our town webmaster several years back. I was arguing that the prominent phrase "welcome to our progressive town" was unacceptable on an official government web page - even if the citizens were 90% left, and the representatives were 90% left, the town as a whole could not read others out of the body politic.

    Needless to say, he was incapable of following my point.

  2. Another guy named Dan:

    I had the same reaction to the radio PSAs that are out now, apparently sponsored or at least created by the Dept. of HHS, touting the benefits available to seniors from the Afordable Healthcare Act. Seeing as this is still an item of contreversy before the Supreme Court and a major campaign issue, I think they present themselves as campaign ads, but are paid for by tax monies.

  3. DCSpotter:

    I have to disagree unfortunately. While the message might indeed match particular campaigns, I do want to see how the government is trying to be efficient (yeah, yeah, government and efficient in the same sentence). It might need to be a different chart perhaps but it is a step in the right direction.

  4. perlhaqr:

    I might cut them some slack, if only because the number of private jobs created dwarfs the number of government jobs lost. Even if one thinks more government jobs is a good thing, it's hard to call a net 80k gain in jobs-at-all "the wrong direction". At least I'd hope that it is.

  5. George Edwards:

    I disagree. As a resident of Florida, I see that the State government is doing all it can to attract business to the State. The graph which you find partisan, I see as a healthy advertisement about the economy of Florida. It is appropriate for the Division of Corporations to advertise the attractive business climate of Florida. If that is a partisan statement, shame on the party which takes exception to it. They had their chance to make Florida friendly to business, but in general failed to do so.