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Tool of the Week: Closed-government Tony

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers is a broken record, continuously smashing Wisconsin’s open records law.

Team Evers’ latest transparency transgression? They’re hiding behind the specious reasoning that releasing information on last summer’s riots at the Capitol would somehow compromise the “integrity” of Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne’s  ongoing prosecution.

Just who the prosecutor is prosecuting, Evers’ legal team doesn’t say. But they consulted with Ozanne’s office and determined “the release of the requested records at this time (before the preliminary hearing is complete and before discovery is sent to defense counsel) would prejudice the integrity of the prosecution.”

Green County District Attorney Craig Nolen told Empower Wisconsin the explanation doesn’t hold up. He said the Evers administration can’t simply defer to a district attorney on records kept by the Department of Administration.

Tom Kamenick, president and founder of the Wisconsin Transparency Project, said the concern that people being prosecuted might learn some details of the case against them a few days early hardly seems like a reason to hide the information from the public.

Hiding information is what closed-government Tony is all about. His administration has racked up an abhorrent record on transparency. And it promises to only get worse, in large part because few members of Wisconsin’s media are holding the liberal governor accountable. Attorney General Josh Kaul, a hyper-partisan Democrat who selectively enforces the laws, wouldn’t dream of checking the abuses of the Democratic governor’s office.

With all of his talk about the people and the “folks,” Evers sure doesn’t like letting Wisconsinites know what he’s up to. He’s got something to hide.

For his constant disregard for transparency, closed-government Tony is Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.

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