Brookfield, Vermont, May 5, 2020: Gubernatorial candidate John Klar has paid $3,244.28 to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office to view correspondence between that Office and Planned Parenthood during crucial legislative wrangling over the passage of Vermont’s notorious abortion law, H57. Also requested are documents relating to Proposal 5, a Constitutional amendment to protect abortion procedures up until birth in Vermont.
Klar, an attorney, was originally quoted a fee of $7,232.33 to view the records, but amended his November 18 request to shorten the requested time frame and reduce costs. AG Donovan has defended the high fees charged by his office for copy requests, arguing he has a duty to save taxpayers money. Klar asserts taxpayers have a right to know whether important elected officials violate ethics or campaign finance laws in close relationships with powerful Political Action Committees like Planned Parenthood’s.
Klar raised $2,383.00 of the copy fees through a gofundme effort; the balance of $861.28 was provided by Vermont Right to Life, a pro-life organization that also wishes to examine the requested records.
Klar argues that paying large sums for a “Public Records Request” is a travesty that mocks the very title under which he asked for these documents: “If they are public records, how many times must the public pay for them in order to see them? AG Donovan argues that he is saving taxpayers money, by charging taxpayers money. In actuality, he is charging fees to prevent voters from obtaining the government transparency that Public Records Request laws were designed to provide. Mr. Donovan is much too cozy with Planned Parenthood -- an Attorney General should be impartial on important public policy issues, not openly advocating for one side, as AG Donovan has so brazenly done. We will see what we discover.”