Avatar
All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Leave it to Evers: ‘Transparent’ Tony sued again on open records complaint

Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 20, 2019

MADISON — Stop us if you’ve heard this one before … a news organization is suing Gov. Tony Evers on charges his administration failed to follow the state’s open records law.

Evers’ abuse of open records statutes is becoming a broken record.

This week, Fox6 News, represented by the Wisconsin Transparency Project, became the latest news outlet to file a lawsuit against the governor.

You’ll recall that Fox6 reporter Amanda St. Hilaire had the audacity to file a request seeking all emails between the governor and his chief of staff over a four-week period. Evers’ legal counsel rejected the request, insisting it was too broad and burdensome.

St. Hilaire pared back her request, seeking only a week’s worth of emails.

Denied again.

She then asked for just a day’s worth. Evers told her that would be “pretty boring.” He said if he sent out one email a day, “that’s an extraordinary day.”

Eventually, Evers’ legal team relented — most likely on the threat of lawsuit. His office claims the governor is making an “exception” to St. Hilaire and that he could deny a similar request.

Amazing.

“He made a conscious choice to not turn over these emails when he could,” Tom Kamenick, founder and president of the Transparency Project, told Empower Wisconsin. “He’s looking for a way not to be transparent. That’s not the behavior of a governor committed to transparency, that’s the behavior of somebody looking to release as little as possible.”

It also raises a critical question: What is Evers, his chief of staff and the governor’s legal staff hiding?

It’s just the latest lawsuit alleging the governor has violated the state’s open records laws and the First Amendment. Earlier this year, the MacIver Institute sued Evers in federal court on closed-door allegations. Empower Wisconsin’s executive director, Matt  Kittle, is named as a nominal plaintiff. The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty has sued the state Department of Public Instruction and the agency’s handpicked successor of the governor, who previously served as DPI superintendent. That lawsuit, too, involves transparency problems.

If the governor can restrict or deny public information to news outlets, what is the administration doing with records requests from average citizens who may not have the same legal resources at their disposal?

“That’s one of the reasons Fox6 is bringing this lawsuit. They know a lot of ordinary people will get the same response from the governor,” Kamenick said. “They are doing this as a way to protect everybody.”

Attorney General Josh Kaul, who is supposed to defend the state’s laws, is representing the governor in the lawsuit.

Listen to more:

Explore More
Republicans threaten lawsuit against Madison ballot drive

Republicans threaten lawsuit against Madison ballot drive

Empower Wisconsin | Sept 25, 2020 MADISON — Legislative Republicans sent a letter to Madison’s city clerk late Friday afternoon…

Read More »

September 27, 2020
Lawmakers to Tosa mayor: Seek National Guard help

Lawmakers to Tosa mayor: Seek National Guard help

Lawmakers representing civil unrest-rattled Wauwatosa are urging liberal Mayor Dennis McBride to make sure the city is secured in advance of a charging decision, expected soon, in the case of a police officer who fatally shot an armed black teen in February. 

Read More »

September 25, 2020
All Woke Up: College dimwits

All Woke Up: College dimwits

But now anyone who refuses to wear a mask during the great COVID-19 scare of 2020 is an endorser of white supremacy, police brutality, and Neo-Nazi militias. 

Read More »

September 25, 2020
Biden’s Plan B.

Biden’s Plan B.

Democrats may be hemming and hawing about the U.S. Senate taking up President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But rest assured, they’ve got a Plan B. 

Read More »

September 25, 2020
Is Biden sponsoring Madison city voter event?

Is Biden sponsoring Madison city voter event?

City of Madison poll workers will be registering voters and accepting absentee ballots this Saturday at more than 200 city parks, according to an ad running on local radio stations. Paid for by Biden for President. 

Read More »

September 25, 2020
Who funded Kenosha rioters?

Who funded Kenosha rioters?

U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil is calling on U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate last month’s Kenosha riots; his opponent, Democrat Roger Polack is defending a radical group that, at the very least, appears to have come to Kenosha to aid and abet rioters. 

Read More »

September 24, 2020
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *