With the release of Sarah Palin's electronic mail from her tenure as governor of Alaska nearing, it's worth rereading this 2009 piece by John Fund in the Wall Street Journal on "Why Palin Quit". Emphasis added, which frames intense interest in the workings of public office as abusive political targeting:
This situation developed because Alaska's transparency laws allow anyone to file Freedom of Information Act requests. While normally useful, in the hands of political opponents FOIA requests can become a means to bog down a target in a bureaucratic quagmire, thanks to the need to comb through records and respond by a strict timetable. Similarly, ethics investigations are easily triggered and can drag on for months even if the initial complaint is flimsy. Since Ms. Palin returned to Alaska after the 2008 campaign, some 150 FOIA requests have been filed and her office has been targeted for investigation by everyone from the FBI to the Alaska legislature. Most have centered on Ms. Palin's use of government resources, and to date have turned up little save for a few state trips that she agreed to reimburse the state for because her children had accompanied her. In the process, though, she accumulated $500,000 in legal fees in just the last nine months, and knew the bill would grow ever larger in the future.
Note that the "bureaucratic quagmire" is not triggered by the actions of an individual requester who is doing anything out of the ordinary in requesting public records, but rather from a mass action in which numerous individuals and organizations all ask for something slightly different but perfectly reasonable at about the same time. Bureaucratic budgets that work at the speed of government are ill-equipped in general to respond to a sudden burst of need, especially when that need is internally focused.