First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
News Story
 
print this   Print

Ky. blocks state workers' access to blog

By The Associated Press
06.24.06

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky officials are blocking state employees' Internet access to a political blog that has been critical of Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who was indicted earlier this year in connection with a state hiring scandal.

The blocked Web sites include entertainment and humor sites, online auctions and blogs, but Mark Nickolas, operator of http://www.bluegrassreport.org, said his site was targeted for its political content.

"It's outrageous; it shows that we are in the People's Republic of Kentucky now — that government will block political speech that it does not approve of," Nickolas said.

State Finance Cabinet spokeswoman Jill Midkiff said officials were not targeting particular sites but entire categories to prevent inappropriate employee access. She said the sites were blocked after a review about two weeks ago of the sites most accessed by state government.

People can appeal the restrictions, which took effect on June 20, she said.

Fletcher spokeswoman Jodi Whitaker referred questions about the action to Midkiff.

Nickolas' site has been critical of the Republican governor, who had been a target in an ongoing attorney general's investigation into allegations that protected state jobs went to the governor's political allies.

Fletcher was indicted on misdemeanor charges of political discrimination, official misconduct and conspiracy and has pleaded not guilty. He issued a sweeping pardon last year to other administration officials who might be caught up in the investigation, but not to himself.

A grand jury has returned 29 indictments in the case, 14 of which remain sealed.


Update
Ky. sued for blocking state workers' access to blog
Federal lawsuit claims state singled out Mark Nickolas' Web site after he was quoted in a New York Times article being critical of Gov. Ernie Fletcher. 07.11.06

Related

Blogging


News summary page
View the latest news stories throughout the First Amendment Center Online.



Last system update: Monday, February 8, 2010 | 15:10:12
 SEARCH  MORE
About this site
About the First Amendment
About the First Amendment Center
How to contribute
Video/RSS/podcasts
First Amendment programs
State of the First Amendment
reports

Religious liberty in public schools
First Reports
Supreme Court
Columnists
Experts
First Amendment publications
First Amendment Center history
Glossary
Freedom Sings™
Events
First Amendment
Schools

Congressional Research Service reports
Guest editorials
FOI material
The First Amendment
Library

Lesson plans
freedomforum.org
Newseum
Contact us
Privacy statement
Related links