Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Walker's Record of Obstruction Continues

It is a shame that a sitting Milwaukee County Supervisor may have to take legal action to obtain county information from Scott Walker's office. I am certainly not surprised at Scott Walker's obstruction on open records requests. He has a long history of playing all sorts of games with any requester that is not a close ally. Consider some of the following examples:

In 2004 Walker's opponent for County Executive, David Riemer, requested signed pension waivers of all "at-will" Walker employees. When the request was made, Walker didn't have many of the waivers signed even though it was one of his original promises. He proceeded to stall Riemer's request and dealt very deceptively with it. The full truth wasn't learned until after the 2004 election and it resulted in a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Justice. That complaint led to a nasty letter from a DOJ attorney which commented saying the following:

"In sum, this episode evinces a case of how government officials ought not to do business...Nobody honored to serve in public office ought to manipulate public records in this fashion -- that is the opinion of this office."

I have personal experience with Walker's obstruction as I have outlined in a previous blog posting. Last June I submitted an 8 part open records request of Walker's office. It took several months to even obtain the first few applicable records. The real outrage was that it took 9 months and an inquiring reporter to motivate them enough to finally produce the calender and email record portions of my original request. As they are trying to do with Supervisor Weishan right now, they charged hundreds of dollars for the privilege of finally being able to inspect public records.

Just last week One Wisconsin Now put out a press release suggesting that the Walker Administration is apparently stonewalling one of their open records requests for his pension records.

And now we have him blocking a sitting Milwaukee County Supervisor from obtaining Milwaukee County records. Maybe a lawsuit is the only remedy at this point. Maybe it will be the only cure to Walker's record of obstruction.

Aside: Compare the above pattern of obstruction to the Walker Administration's responding to an open records request from the now defunct shill blog, ScottforGov. The request was not even signed by an actual person, only by "" (an actual name may not be required on an ORR but this still seems very strange). Their request last year was handled originally by the same Walker staffer that resigned because of her political blogging on county time. I can't help but wonder if that had anything to do with the fact that ScottforGov's request was fully processed for free in about 2 hours? When I think about it that way, maybe the Walker Administration does legitimately have something to fear from Supervisor Weishan's open records request.

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