Monday, February 12, 2007

Taxpayer funds being spent to track this website.

In a previous post I noted how Rachel Alexander was doing PR work for her boss, Maricopa County A by writing a deceptive article on FoxNews that smeared a victim of their overzealous prosecution, Matt Bandy.

The purpose of the County Attorney is to handle county legal business and I wondered if Ms. Alexander was conducting her PR campaign for her boss Andrew Thomas while on the payroll of the taxpayers. You would think that would be a big “no-no” for staunch conservatives like themselves. Surely no one one in the Maricopa County Attorney’s office would be checking out and/or responding to web articles while they were supposed to be doing legal work.

Or would they? That still remains to be seen. But I can tell you that we got several visitors from some office of the Maricopa County government on the web site today. And today is a work day for them and it was during work hours and it was from county computers. And quite honestly, since this is an opinion blog I can’t conceive of any legitimate county business that would require anyone from the Maricopa County government to be coming to this web site during work hours using work computers.

Absent any legitimate work related reason for being here then what would bring out a slew of visits from Maricopa County employees during work hours? Could it be that they do conduct a PR campaign for their boss during work hours instead of conducting the legal business of the county. Mr. Thomas presents himself as tough on crime. Well, I would hope he is out prosecuting real criminals (a change of pace for him) instead of checking out what sort of publicity he is getting. And I would hope this goes for his employees as well.

Now you might be skeptical about whether or not Maricopa County employees are using their work computers to check up on this blog during the business day. So I made sure I collected some proof. At any one time of the day I can see some basic information as to who is visiting. I don’t get names but I know what city they are from and if their computer is registered to an organization, like the Maricopa County government, that shows up as well. It is a little tough to narrow it down to a specific department or user however.

But here are some pdf images of the information we get when we check out a specific reader of the blog. Now I can only check the most recent 100 visitors at a time and the data constantly refreshes. So I might have missed a visitor using his work time to browse the blog. But here are four different visits today from employees of Maricopa County using county computers. And since the only people we’ve discussed are in the County Attorney’s office I wonder if they aren’t spending their time checking up on what is being said about themselves instead of working. And since there are at least three different browser combinations here we aren’t talking about just one visitor. There were at least three employees from Maricopa County shirking their duties to check up on us.

Anyone want to bet which office? One clue might be that each of this visitors accessed pages with stories about Andrew Thomas, Rachel Alexander the prosecution of Matt Bandy by the County Attorney’s office. No doubt it was it someone in animal control. Don’t you think?

Clarification: Our blog time is not set to US times so don't assume these people were working in the evenings at the office. This would be the middle of the afternoon Phoenix time.

UPDATE: It really must be a slow day in Maricopa County. Two more visits since I posted the blog. Good to know there are no criminals to worry about in Phoenix. The visits from Maricopa Country paid officials continues rather regularly. I won't post each visit here but I do take a photo of the record for our files.

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