State Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse) has acknowledged today he violated Wisconsin’s open records law, after previously denying any wrongdoing. As a result of Sen. Kapanke’s wrongdoing, Wisconsin’s taxpayers will likely have to spend $38,000 on legal bills, unless Sen. Kapanke does the right thing and pays the legal bills out of his own pocket (which I’m betting he won’t do). Ironically enough, Sen. Kapanke is running for Congress on a campaign to lower taxes, but apparently he’s not running for Congress on a campaign of ethics and following the law.
Here’s Sen. Kapanke’s statement regarding his wrongdoing:
“I take responsibility for any failures by my office in responding to the public records request, and intend to take steps to prevent any similar occurrences in the future,” Kapanke said in a statement included in a court settlement filed Friday.
While I’m glad Dan Kapanke took responsibility for his wrongdoing, it’s disappointing to think an elected official – someone sworn to uphold the law and our state’s Constitution – would be so willing to break the law to save his own skin.
What’s more, as my friend Cory Liebmann notes, Sen. Kapanke should be paying for his crime, not the taxpayers of Wisconsin. If Sen. Kapanke really wanted to do the right thing, he’d pay all the legal fees related to his case, because Wisconsinites deserve nothing less.