On October 1, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed a brief countering claims by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Senator Leah Vukmir that legislators cannot be held accountable for violating the open records law during their entire term in office.
CONTACT: Brendan Fischer, email@example.com
The following is the Center for Media and Democracy's response to Senator Leah Vukmir's statement regarding CMD's public records case and her claim that she has "fully complied" with CMD's public records request. The following can be attributed to CMD General Counsel Brendan Fischer:
CONTACT: Alex Oberley, 608-260-9713, Alex@PRwatch.org
Madison -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has taken the unprecedented step of asserting that a state legislator cannot be held accountable for refusing to disclose public records in response to a lawful open records request by the Center for Media and Democracy.
A Republican-dominated committee voted Thursday to recommend a half-million-dollar grant for promoting hunting and fishing to a group with no record in outdoors training, but with plenty of lobbying experience and close ties to outgoing Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder. The group, United Sportsmen of Wisconsin, will spend most of the $500,000 in taxpayer dollars on salaries for Tea Party leaders who have long railed against government spending.
A small GOP lobby shop tied to the Tea Party and David Koch's Americans for Prosperity, and which was active in the state's recent recall elections, was awarded $500,000 in taxpayer dollars in what some are calling a backdoor, sweetheart deal cooked up by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) State Chair, outgoing Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has vetoed a budget provision that would have radically changed the state's pre-trial justice system and another that would have kicked an independent journalism outfit off of University of Wisconsin campuses.
The Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation is one-for-two in legal challenges to civil rights and racial equality this term, with the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in one case bankrolled by Bradley, and in another, remanding an affirmative action case to a lower court, turning back the Bradley-backed challenge. The cases represent the latest in the Bradley Foundation's long-term effort to dismantle the gains of the civil rights era.
Republican lawmakers have squeezed a provision into the Wisconsin budget to reintroduce bail bondsmen (and bounty hunters) to the state, a corruptive practice that has been banned since 1979, faces nearly universal opposition from the state's criminal justice system, and is promoted heavily by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
ALEC Asserting Immunity From State Freedom of Information Laws
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2013
CONTACT: Brendan Fischer, Brendan@prwatch.org
MADISON -- The Center for Media and Democracy filed suit Thursday against Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir, a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the treasurer of ALEC's national board, over her failure to disclose ALEC-related materials under Wisconsin's public records law -- possibly because ALEC told her to keep the documents secret.
Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin are fast-tracking a controversial bill to keep political donors secret, enact voter ID, and limit early voting, among other measures, with a vote scheduled for next week. The only public hearing on the bill was held Tuesday, where a representative of the business lobby made several misleading assertions about the bill's disclosure provisions.