In March, members of the water district board were discussing at a public meeting whether to shift money for environmental restoration of streams to flood control work. Schmidt openly asked if he might have a conflict.
He asked water district counsel Stan Yamamoto for a ruling. He met afterward with Yamamoto's staff. The lawyers issued a memo spelling out when Schmidt should recuse himself from voting.
"Before I even started the campaign last year, I said I wanted to avoid any conflicts between my job as an environmental advocate and the work the water district does," Schmidt said Monday.
Yamamoto declined to be interviewed.
Asked to make the memo public, Schmidt said he could not, because he isn't the client in the attorney-client relationship, the water district is. Instead, he said, he has asked the state Fair Political Practices Commission for a ruling. He declined to comment on whether he supports making the memo public.
Apparently that wasn't exciting enough/informative enough though (choose your preferred description), so it was buried away from the lede paragraphs.
Overall, the article could be worse and more innuendo-ey, so I can't complain too much. I can complain some though! My main complaint is that I gave the reporter a reason why I shouldn't publicly declare whether the memo should be public, which wasn't included in the article: because the memo's about me, I shouldn't be involved in the process of deciding whether it should be released, and that includes publicly lobbying the Water District to release it (or not).
Second complaint is that no one ever releases attorney-client communication (for the reason that it would impair frank communication), and the article declined to mention that. I told the reporter that I considered that an essential part of the information that the public doesn't know, but he didn't.
Kind of ironic that we were in disagreement over what the newspaper is withholding from the public.
*Regarding the header to this post, I guess I've previously received criticism from denialists and Roger Pielke Jr., if one considers such a response to be "negative". (UPDATE: responding to the comment from RPJr below: yes, his criticism wasn't of my politics, it was instead his deceptive response when I pointed out that he was being deceptive.)