Little known fact: you can make local FOIA (freedom of information act) requests, too. Most states have a FOIA equivalent; here in Vermont, it’s called the “Open Records Law”. And it’s really quite straightforward and very comprehensive: unless there’s a really legitimate reason for the government to keep things a secret, you’re entitled to see it. Even better, the State has put out this useful little primer on the whole thing, complete with form letters and guidance as to how to make your request. Fancy that.
So I just did make a request, in connection with a project with which I’m currently involved. Now to see if it works — I’m setting my expectations low, but it could just prove that for once, there’s rhyme and reason to the ways of the bureaucracy.