To do: Stop jokes about notebook
By BILL ADAIR, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 11, 2003
WASHINGTON - Here's a possible entry in Sen. Bob Graham's notebook for Tuesday:
12:30 p.m. - Haircut in Senate Barber Shop. Told reporter - no more notebooks.
After years of opening his spiral journals to reporters, the Florida Democrat has decided they will be off limits.
Paul Anderson, Graham's spokesman, said the notebook requests have become repetitive and time-consuming. Since Graham launched his presidential campaign, the notebooks also have become the butt of numerous jokes.
"The senator wants to address the issues of interest to the American people," Anderson said. "He has explained repeatedly what the notebooks are for. It is a redundant exercise for which we no longer have time."
Since 1977, Graham has filled nearly 4,000 with his ideas, to-do lists and an hour-by-hour log. Graham has been ridiculed because he even records when he changes pants or rewinds videos.
Anderson said there has been ample coverage. "Do a Google search - the Washington Post, the New York Times, the St. Petersburg Times, the Miami Herald" have all written about them.
The notebooks are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, but Graham usually allowed reporters to see them. He changed his mind after getting a flood of requests. "I don't consider my notebooks to be public documents," he said Tuesday. "They are notebooks I paid for privately, and I keep private information there."
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