This week State Senator Jon Erpenbach agreed to drop any appeal of the open records case filed against him. The very conservative John K MacIver Institute for Public Policy had requested Sen. Erpenbach’s emails surrounding the protests in Madison in 2011 around the passage of Act 10. Originally the Senator turned over 26,000 emails with the names and email addresses redacted. He feared that the writers could be harassed (and from what we’ve seen the past three years, those fears are well founded). But that’s now it goes down in MacIver land:

MacIver sued in Grant County Circuit Court, saying it had a right to know who sent those emails. The judge last year determined Erpenbach had the ability to keep the names and email addresses secret, and MacIver appealed.

In April, the District 2 Court of Appeals in Waukesha reversed that ruling in a unanimous decision that determined “public awareness of ‘who’ is attempting to influence public policy is essential for effective oversight of our government.”

LOL! “public awareness of ‘who’ is attempting to influence public policy is essential for effective oversight of our government”

All well and good if you are from the extreme right and wanting to expose individual citizens in contact with their elected officials…but don’t dare suggest that we legislate any transparency into who contributes to PACs or other third party groups with exactly the same intent!

4 Responses to When Is It OK to Know Who Is Influencing Public Policy?

  1. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Right on the money with that last paragraph, Ed. It’s very telling that MacIver wants this information so they can bully and humiliate average Wisconsinites (how noble), but somehow we don’t deserve the same right to find out who the contributors to dark-money PACs are…or to the MacIver Institute for that matter. Given that these liars are running ads and giving out press releases, why aren’t we allowed to see what’s going on at MacIver, and who they’re fronting for?

    Typical GOP:”Rules for thee, but not for me.”

  2. John Casper says:

    x2 what Jake said.

    Ed, great catch.

  3. nonquixote says:

    Doncha people know, the Dems do it to, as they have their public and searchable on-line data base of NON-recall petition signers, put up billboards threatening jail time for voting without an official WI ID and that “Queen Mary,” had a private meeting with her biggest campaign contributors and future beneficiaries of further corporate tax breaks, and asked them politely and sincerely, “how can we love you more?”

  4. Cat Kin says:

    I can’t do an “LOL” to partisan manipulation and obfuscation of information within the judiciary. That’s criminal and calls for disbarment.

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