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First Amendment column: Can public talks be considered private conversations?

8:16 PM, Apr. 2, 2013
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The First Amendment protects our free speech from government control, punishment or interference - but when public officials speak freely through private email accounts or mobile phones, are they free to ignore freedom of information laws?

On one hand, they are paying from their own funds for those means of communication - and even public officials have private lives, though less so than before their win at the ballot box or appointment to public office.

But it would seem that there's nothing really "private" about a conversation about public policies, or about spending public funds, or ...

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports