It’s a public record, a historical document and paid for by taxpayers.

Yet, the official website chronicling Linda Lingle‘s eight years as Hawaii governor is no longer posted on the state’s server.

All those speeches, all those press releases, all those veto messages — gone. Same goes for Ben Cayetano‘s two terms.

What’s the deal?

‘This Page Does Not Seem To Exist’

Civil Beat stumbled across this alarming revelation when we clicked on links that were contained in articles we wrote while Lingle was still governor.

We were directed to Gov. Neil Abercrombie‘s official website, where this message awaited:

We apologize for the inconvenience, but the page you were trying to access is not at this address. You can use the links below to help you find what you are looking for.

If you are certain you have the correct web address but are encountering an error, please contact the Site Administration.

Thank you.

So, we contacted the Site Administration and, in a few days, received an email from webmaster@hawaii.gov:

Your e-mail was forwarded to the ICSD Administration.

When we receive an answer we will contact you again.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Not sure what the Webmaster’s name is, sorry.

But, we’ve got a call into the state’s Department of Accounting and Government Services, because the email above was forwarded by someone identified as “John K Pescador” of DAGS.

Archive Recovered

The Mysterious Webmaster soon sent us another email, and it was great news:

Mr. Blair

Just for you. http://archive.lingle.hawaii.gov/gov

That should be the complete site.

Let us know if what you are looking for goes to a broken link.

We will try our best to accommodate you.

I checked it out, and sure enough, all eight years were there — the trips to China, the robotics, the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, the furlough plan — and that was just for the year 2010.

I clicked on the “News Releases” link and took a trip back in time to 2003 and found this nugget: GOVERNOR LINGLE RELEASES JUDICIAL NOMINATION LISTS.

Wow! Sabrina S. McKenna was a nominee to the Intermediate Court of Appeals! Abercrombie, of course, put McKenna on the Hawaii Supreme Court this year but won’t release the names of nominees.

Everything was there — speeches, radio addresses, proclamations, executive orders, even a photo gallery.

It’s a treasure trove for journalists and historians and of use to both supporters of Lingle and those who are already gathering “oppo” (opposition research) to campaign against her.

More, Please?

Excited, I immediately asked the Mysterious Webmaster for more:

1) Is this easy to find on the web? That is, if someone were trying to find this through a search, how could they find it?

2) Where does this archive reside, exactly? In other words, who is the webmaster and what office does the webmaster work out of?

3) Is Gov. Cayetano’s available, too?

I also asked for the name and title of the person I was corresponding with.

Here’s what came back:

1) I don’t think so. It is up at the request of the Archives Division (http://hawaii.gov/dags/archives). Eventually they will be the care takers of the site. I’m not sure if Archives will make the site available on the Web; it may be housed on a PC in their office in the future. The Archives Division is working on policies regarding digital archives.

2) It resides in house at ICSD currently. We have not moved the site off the server it was on while Governor Lingle was in office. We just removed the hawaii.gov/gov pointers to her site and redirected it to Governor Abercrombie’s web site.

3) It would take some digging up. I think you would have to send an official request to Debra Gagne, ICSD Administrator or perhaps Susan Shaner (archives@hawaii.gov), the head of the Archives Division. I believe parts of the web site are available on archive.org.

I would not say I’m the webmaster but I am assigned to check this mail account for questions. I have been doing it for about 16 years now. As you can see I check this account once a day; usually in the morning.

Yes — yes you do, Mysterious Person Who Says They Are Not The Webmaster.

So, the official history of Linda Lingle as governor is floating out there in cyberspace somewhere. But you’ll never find it through Google. Just use the handy link sent by my new Mysterious Not The Webmaster friend. After all, we are not in the business of obscuring a not-so-public public record.

DISCUSS: Should Linda Lingle’s history as governor be readily accessible on the state archive website?

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