Saturday, June 02, 2012

Revisiting ScottforGov and its Open Records Request

Readers might recall that I have a long history with Scott Walker's Milwaukee County administration stalling and otherwise obstructing my open records requests.  In 2010 his administration made me wait at lest 8 or 9 months to get records that I had requested of them.  In fact I may have never received those records if a reporter would not have called them and inquired about the long delay.

In the past I have also contrasted Walker's history of open record obstruction with how his office quickly (and usually for free) processed both large and small requests for his political allies.  One example of this that I have given on this blog is their quick response to the anonymous shill blog, ScottforGov.  It is the blog that was very quickly taken down after Darlene Wink was caught doing political stuff on county time.  Based on criminal complaints we also know that longtime Walker aide Tim Russell purchased some of the domains related to this anonymous shill blog.

The following is simply a review of how this anonymous open records request was quickly processed for free by the Walker administration.  I've included more recent details from the John Doe that seem relevant.

  1. Someone from the ScottforGov sent an open records request to Scott Walker's general county email account.  I don't know who personally sent the email but it is interesting to note that Tim Russell is the person that paid for the domains according to the criminal complaint against him. 
  2. Darlene Wink originally received this open records request from the ScottforGov blog.  We know that she has already admitted to improperly doing political work on county time and has reached a plea deal with prosecutors.
  3. After Wink received the friendly open records request she quickly forwarded it to Wallker's communications person, Fran McLaughlin*.  Her name may sound familiar to you because on Thursday she became the 13th person in the John Doe to request and receive immunity.  An interesting note is that she appeared to get immunity after first invoking her 5th amendment right against self incrimination.  
It is also interesting to note that the anonymous shills at ScottforGov knew the exact details of my open records requests to the Walker administration.  In fact they blogged about it later (see the "Neumann slithering around for dirt" entry) .  It is certainly a telling event given the people involved with that flawed process and all of the details that have emerged so far from the John Doe investigation.

*For the record it was Fran McLaughlin that I had to deal with on my open records requests and as previously stated it took 8 or 9 months to get those records (only AFTER a reporter called inquiring about the long delay)

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