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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 05:29 PM ET, 01/24/2012

AP reporter aggressive in the bathroom

Are we on the record here?
Sometimes the story behind the story is more compelling than the story itself. That’s certainly true of this Associated Press piece by John Hanna on a proposed tax overhaul by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R). Implementation of the plan, wrote Hanna, would impose more taxes on the poor while delivering breaks to higher-income filers. Nice stuff.

According to an AP memo, Hanna got the story by approaching a source in, well, have a read:

So Hanna tracked down a legislative source he thought would be helpful – and he found him in a men’s room at the Capitol. He asked for the data and the source replied, “If you’d just let me finish my business here, we can go to my office.” Back in the office, the source showed Hanna what the research staff had given his boss and provided to a special study group – the first time any reporter had seen it.

For his enterprise work, Hanna earned what AP calls its Best of the States prize, worth $300. With those incentives in place, will budget aides in state capitals ever pee in peace again?

By  |  05:29 PM ET, 01/24/2012

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