SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered the release of intelligence reports prepared for the state Office of Homeland Security, a move administration officials say will quell complaints that California engaged in widespread monitoring of political protests.
State lawmakers have complained that two homeland security intelligence reports from March and April carried details about the location and purpose of political rallies. The reports were obtained by the Los Angeles Times and detailed in an article published Saturday.
“The governor believes that any inappropriate information-gathering like this is totally unacceptable,” Adam Mendelsohn, Schwarzenegger’s communications director, told the newspaper.
The governor’s homeland security director, Matthew Bettenhausen, said the rally information was mistakenly included in the reports by a private contractor working for his office. But some officials complained of overly aggressive information-gathering by Schwarzenegger’s administration.
Schwarzenegger will allow reporters to review about 60 intelligence reports prepared for the homeland security director. Officials said they will first remove “law-enforcement-sensitive information” and information about ongoing investigations.
Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, said the reports should not be sanitized. Miller attended a Walnut Creek anti-war rally in March that was listed in a section called “Upcoming California Protests” in one of the reports.
Other political activities cited include a rally outside a Canadian consulate office in San Francisco to protest seal hunting and a gathering at a Santa Barbara courthouse to support an anti-war protester facing federal trespassing charges.
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