A couple of weeks ago I asked if the right wing MacIver Institute was actually handling all open records requests to Republican legislators. I asked this because they made an open records request that I filed with Rep. Leah Vukmir's office public before that office even bothered to acknowledge that they had in fact received my request. Apparently MacIver's duties in the Republican infrastructure go well beyond what I originally imagined. They not only handle open records requests for Republican legislators but apparently they even run interference for Republican candidates for the legislature.
MacIver has gone up with yet another blog which includes a portion of an open records request that I have submitted to another public official. This time they are apparently feeling protective of Libertarian Republican candidate for state senate, Ed Thompson. That request asked for official email records that fit a list of keywords and names over a specific period of time. Who knew that wanting to monitor a public official's use of a taxpayer funded email account was so interesting? Checking this sort of thing is hardly a new concept, just ask the Republican Party of Wisconsin or Citizens for Responsible Government. Is it really that unreasonable to check if Thompson is using official email to communicate with political supporters and contributors? And let's face it, Ed Thompson is a quote machine on the record, can you imagine what he is saying when he thinks that he is off the record? For all I know, Thompson may not even use his taxpayer funded email account, but that doesn't mean that the public doesn't deserve to know.
The bottom line here is that MacIver is made up of little more than recycled Jensen-style Republican partisans. Who can forget when they originally denied the influence of former Republican Speaker Scott Jensen even while he was helping them write their press releases? Apparently Republicans and their "nonprofit" message machines still have to run everything through him. Brett Healy, the "president" at MacIver, was Jensen's former Chief of Staff. In fact his name came up more than a few times during Scott Jensen's first criminal trial. Likewise, MacIver Communications Director Brian Fraley, was always a Jensen favorite as was outlined in a letter that was also revealed during Jensen's first criminal trial. So they may be recycled over at Republican "nonprofit" land, but that doesn't mean that they can easily quell their overwhelming partisan urges. If I were them, I would be a little more careful about crossing some important lines. For example, I'm not sure how legit it is to be so closely handling and running interference for Republican candidates when you are operating a 501(c)(3) "nonprofit". But again, maybe they simply can't help themselves.