Thursday, March 03, 2011

Fox 6 and CRG "Colluding" Against Senate Dems?

On Friday I highlighted the various ways that our 14 Senate Democrats are being harassed for taking their courageous stand to slow down Scott Walker's extreme agenda. One of the elements that I included in that blog posting was that they have received extensive open records requests from the Walker-enablers at Citizens for Republican Responsible Government. They also received very similar open records requests from Bryan Polcyn from Milwaukee's WITI Fox 6 News.

Originally I noticed that both CRG and Fox 6 submitted their extensive and similar requests on the same day but I didn't originally read anything into that fact. But after seeing the report that Fox 6 produced based on their open records requests, I'm having second thoughts.

  • The Fox 6 item prominently features the spokesperson for CRG (remember he is the one that admitted in 2009 that he wanted to see Scott Walker become governor)
  • Not only did they prominently feature CRG but then they gave them air time to broadly speculate about alleged "collusion" without a real basis.
  • Fox 6 admits at the top of the story that their extensive open records requests of Dem Senators didn't reveal any real premeditated plan for the Dems to leave town. However by the end of the story they use CRG's wild speculation to strongly imply otherwise.

So if CRG and Fox 6 are going to join together to question and speculate about Senate Dems, maybe someone should be asking them some serious questions. Last week I emailed Bryan Polcyn asking him if he had any comment about his extensive open records requests to Democratic Senators. I also asked him if he had submitted similar requests to Scott Walker's office or the offices of the Republican leadership in the Legislature. In his report today he seems so concerned about why Democrats tried to slow down the "budget repair bill" process, so was he as interested in how Republicans were plotting on how to speed it up? I don't know because he didn't respond to my questions. So if Fox 6 wants to air reports with partisans broadly speculating about who is "colluding" with whom, I want to know if they are "colluding" with CRG and against the Senate Democrats?

1 comment:

Bryan Polcyn said...

I didn't know you ever tried to contact me, Cory. Turns out, your lone email to me went straight into my "junk mail" folder.

There was absolutely no coordination at all between FOX 6 and CRG in crafting our open records request. My producer and I crafted the requests on our own (as we always do) and negotiated with the Wisconsin Legislative Council to narrow the scope of our request once we realized how many emails would be involved.

After we received the emails that were the subject or our stories the past two days, we sought comments from the Mayor of Madison, the Secretary of State, and Senator Mark Miller, all Democrats and/or representatives of the ideological and political left. We also presented the emails to CRG, an ideologically right-leaning anti-tax group, for comment.

We did not request the emails of the Governor or any Republican lawmakers, because the purpose of our original request was specifically to look for evidence of any advance discussion or planning of the unprecedented trip to Illinois.

That trip only involves the 14 Democratic Senators. One would not expect to find advance planning or discussion of that trip in the emails of Governor Walker or any other lawmakers.

Our investigative unit has no ideological agenda. We have always - and will always - hold elected officials from both parties and all ideologies accountable.


Bryan Polcyn
FOX 6 Investigators