Commentary: Politics dominated Missouri gov's office

This editorial appeared in The Kansas City Star.

It’s little wonder Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt’s administration resisted making the e-mail correspondence of its top officials a matter of public record.

The documents, finally released, reveal an office consumed by politics and disdainful of its obligations under the Missouri Sunshine law.

Blunt released 60,000 pages of e-mail records last week as part of a settlement in a lawsuit that was initiated by two attorneys acting on behalf of the state attorney general’s office and joined by several media organizations, including The Star.

The documents reveal that top staffers of the governor engaged in a campaign to frame a judicial candidate as "out of the mainstream."

A former chief of staff behaved like a campaign operative, contacting outside groups to drum up opposition to judicial nominees and the state’s system for selecting judges.

Attempts to undercut Attorney General Jay Nixon, a Democrat who was considered Blunt's main political rival, were met with approval.

As disturbing as what the released documents reveal is what they are largely missing — e-mails initiated by the governor.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Kansas City Star.