So much for Gov. Scott Walker’s promise to make his administration a model of transparency. I previously mentioned Gov. Walker’s administration is being sued for failing to respond to several open records requests, and while his administration has now responded to the records requests, they’re clearly attempting to stonewall the requests, estimating the cost of printing out the emails Gov. Walker received in support of his proposal to remove collective bargaining rights for public employees at over $31,000:
“The governor said he had gotten more than 8,000 e-mails as of Feb. 17, with ‘the majority’ urging him to ‘stay firm’ on his budget repair bill,” Isthmus News Editor Bill Lueders said. “We’re just trying to see these largely supportive responses.”
AP reporter Todd Richmond amended his request to include e-mails concerning the bill through Feb. 25.
The lawsuit alleges that the governor’s office violated the Wisconsin Open Records law by withholding the messages and delaying access to them. It seeks release of the e-mails and attorneys’ fees for filing the lawsuit.
Isthmus and the AP did not receive a response to their records requests, the lawsuit states.
But Richmond received an e-mail response late Friday, which was dated Feb. 25, from Nate Ristow, associate legal counsel for the governor, in which Ristow detailed the cost of printing out the e-mails of more than $31,250, to be paid in advance. Ristow also invited Richmond to review the records at Walker’s office for no charge.
In his records request, Lueders had asked that the e-mails be put on a disk instead of being printed on paper.
I’m not exactly sure how it costs $31,250 to print out somewhere between ten thousand and twenty thousand emails, but it certainly can’t cost $31,250 to put all the emails in their digital forms on a computer disk or flash drive.
The fact is, Gov. Walker has no interest in transparency within his administration, a fact that’s borne out by his history as Milwaukee County Executive, where time and time again his administration made every effort to stonewall every and any open records request that might shine a negative light on his administration.