Emails, Tom Verdin, state government team editor, the Associated Press, June 1 and 4, 2018

5:25 p.m.

Your email to our media relations department found its way to me (I’m the AP’s state government team editor). To be clear, we don’t have the time at this hour to vet your request for a publishable fact check. No other indictments of sitting statewide officials come to mind, but that of course is not the same as a thorough, state-by-state fact check.


Of possible interest to you, however, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has been found in contempt of court by a federal judge in a voting rights lawsuit. That’s not an indictment, though it is a sitting statewide officeholder who is in some legal hot water. Here is the AP story from April about the contempt filing:


Again, this does not represent anything close to an exhaustive search, but perhaps the Kobach nugget is helpful to you. Regards,



From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)

Sent: Friday, June 01, 2018 3:33 PM

Subject: RE: Texas AG request


Howdy. I separately heard from Will Weissert, who advised me that the AP had sent out a national query to all statehouse reporters in hopes of buttoning this up. Make sense?



5:56 p.m.

that query was sent by me this afternoon, as a courtesy to an AP member. It was just to see if we could surface any other known indictments quickly, and the closest we got was the Kobach contempt ruling.


But I want to be clear: This is not a fact check, and the AP is offering nothing to you that is publishable beyond the Kobach story from our archives. We’re not going to hear back from reporters in all 50 states after hours on a Friday (a grand total of 10 responded to my email). For us to do a publishable fact check would require a much more formal process, which will take significant staff time. And for that, we would need a request from a top editor there made through proper channels.


So don’t wait for us to do any more “buttoning up” on this question. We cannot determine at this hour the veracity of Nelson’s comment. Regards,



From: Selby, Gardner Sent: Monday, June 04, 2018 3:01 PM

Subject: RE: Texas AG request


Any new information?

7:48 p.m.

Gardner, the only other one to surface was from Oklahoma. There, the superintendent of public instruction, Joy Hofmeister, had been indicted for campaign finance violations, but the district attorney dropped the charges; they could be refiled in the future. So it’s something of a near miss. If you want to find out more about that case, our reporter there is Sean Murphy, ...


Nothing else germane from last week’s request.