Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Another rare species' sighting in Wisconsin

That would be a statewide GOP elected official opposing changes to the Wisconsin Open Records law.

What a cat he is!

No lyin' - -
Brad Schimel says records, meetings law should not be weakened
Attorney General Brad Schimel said at his summit on open government Wednesday that public meetings and public records laws should not be weakened. 
The summit has been planned for months by the GOP attorney general but is occurring just weeks after Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers tried to gut the open records law. They quickly backed off in the face of public outrage. 
"Messing with open government laws is like touching the third rail," Schimel told nearly 200 people at the Concourse Hotel. "I think that lesson has been learned recently."
Now if we could just get that belief in open government extended to saving the Government Accountability Board, since the same GOP partisans who tried to wipe out the Open Records law are openly behind gutting the GAB.


Anonymous said...

I am at the summit -- as usual, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is misleading. Marley is writing falsehoods again. I saw him directly ask schimel during the morning break about this. Shimel DID NOT say that these laws should not be weakened. He actually declined to answer the direct questions from Marley (I was standing a few feet from both Marley and Schimel at the time).

While Schimel did state that this was the "third rail" this in no way means he does not support what the republicans tried to do. In fact, and Marley knows this, when directly asked about Walker's reason to deny records based on a fictitious "deliberative process" exclusion.

The law does not actually have provisions for this and Schimel know this, however, his is defending Walker's claim. This is the reason he refused to confirm to Marley what his position was on this critical proposed change in open records law.

Is is inaccurate to say that Schimel does not support changes -- he rightly called it a third rail -- but he absolute did not say that he would not support weakening open records laws and, in fact, is currently defending Walker's "deliverative process" exemption even though there is nothing of the sort in the statue.

Schimel seemed very annoyed that this event (which I posted in a comment on your blog immediately after I saw it) seemed very frustrated that 200 people came out and virtually all of them supported the concept of open-records and the need for access. He directly stated before his 4 minute media access that he did not want to answer questions at all and he did make sure he was only available for a few minutes.

I think he hoped to misrepresent a smaller summit as justification for making recomendations to limit publis access. In any case, the MJS story is misleading and it is hard to believe that the writer didn't know better because Schimel directly and repeatedly declined to answer the questions that this MJS reporter asked, directy to his face too.

lufthase said...

Schimel was on WPR yesterday previewing the summit. A couple interesting quotes...

2:45 - On police body cameras (completely missing the point):
"I can tell ya my wife, you know some days that the kids have gone kinda crazy and she didn't keep up with chasing after them all day, our house might look like a mess. And she wouldn't want a police officer's body camera showing that to the whole world."

8:12 - Arguing for a "deliberative process" (draft) exemption:
"I think that there's a legitimate argument to be made that-- Say, the governor and his chief legal counsel going back and forth with each other over how, what the final document should look like… I think you could make a legitimate argument that that's a draft. And I have the same issue in my office. And, frankly, a lot of times we'll just avoid using email… because I don't want the early version of what we're discussing to become a public record. Because sometimes my initial reaction to things is… it doesn't look good."

Anonymous said...

I guess when filing open records requests you should ask for all drafts, notes, handwritten notes and drafts and illustrations as well as final documents. On and phone logs.

Anonymous said...

@3:04 what does third rail mean? " It is a metaphor for any issue so controversial that is is charged and untouchable. any Pol trying to touch this would suffer. "

Anonymous said...

@ 3:04 Hoped to represent ? So was it planned with Walker? Sounds like you re suggesting that Schmil didn't expct all the honest and ethical answers. I think Marley did a fine job.

Anonymous said...

Just proclaiming something is the "third rail" is NOT AT ALL the same as saying you won't touch that third rail. Marley is not telling the story accurately -- he knows that Schimel refused to answer about "deliberative process". He also knows that Schimel directly stated that he saw a need for some exculusions for the "deliberative process".

There is no "deliberative process" in current law. Schimel would support adding one and would do so despite the fact he acknowledges any changes represent the "third rail".

Schimel is actually defending Walker right now for his assertions that there are open records extensions that are not codified in law. In other words, Shimel actually advocated touching that third rail and carving out an exemption for a fictitious "deliberative process" that everyone agrees is not currently in the law.

This event was planned for a much smaller audience, but interest was so great, it was expanded to accommodate 200 (I was one there and I witnessed the press interview of Schimel where he directly stated to those nearby that he did not want to be part of).

Had this been the smaller group, Marley and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel could have gotten away with the lie that Schimel was against any changes that might weaken the law. In fact, Schimel said exactly the opposite -- he wants to create exclusions for claims of "deliberative process" that do not exist at this time.

Almost anything can be claimed to be part of the "deliberative process" and once whatever the final outcome of "deliberative process" is, the entire point of many open-records requests no longer matters. Who this was planned with is not important, anon 11:21 and 11:27. The republicans have control of the entire government by hook or crook and are all on the same page as this.

It is entirely dishonest to proclaim to the world that Brad Schimel, who is defending Walker's fictitous claims of exemptions to open records law and who directly stated he wanted to see Walker's assertioins encoded in law, does not support weakening the law.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:45

Yes, you can, but this will likely delay your request and that is what advocates of placing restrictions on Open Records laws use to justify changes to the law -- changes that Atty Brad Schimel directly stated he supported.

The suggestion to include "drafts, notes, handwritten notes and drafts and illustrations as well as final documents" are exactly the "deliberative process" documents that:

1. Brad Schimel is currently defending Scott Walker on even though this legal theory was pulled out was Walker's arse and is not currently mentioned in state law.

2. Brad Schimel supports changing this, restricting the law, and he advocates doing so even though he has acknowledged there will be backlash because it is the "third rail".

3. Walker could, instead of making up a non-existing exclusion for "deliberative process" proclaim Executive Privileged. At least there would be legal precedent for that, unlike his bogus "deliverative process" exemption. He chooses not to, perhaps it sounds too Nixonian for the Nixon-on-steriods Scott Walker.

Anyone that was at the conference or at the 4 minute (or less) non-"press conference" where reporters were able to ask a very-annoyed Schimel questions (he answered none) know that it is entirely inaccurate to publish stories that Schimel does not support weakening the law.

Anonymous said...

As a state employee, we have recently been told that we don't have to submit drafts for open records request unless the request comes in before we delete the drafts. We have been told to delete drafts as soon as documents are final, save emails in files by date, throw away hand written notes, and don't mark up drafts by hand.

I didn't think Walker could proclaim Executive Privilege as Wisconsin's Open Records Law prohibits that.

Anonymous said...

An attorney at the schimel summit said that walker could claim executive privilege, but IANAL. There is no basis for walker to claim deliberative process, yet he is, schimel is defending walker's claim, and wants to see the law changed to institute it.

It does appear that, while summit was carefully organized to make it appear this was all about "modernizing" the law, in fact, as written in accommodates all changes to digital formats and technology. MJS's misrepresentations are a "tell." Schimel wanted cover to justify the changes dropped in 999. He, and walker, want to hide who writes the bills being passed as law. This has nothing to do with the formats and technology of any records.

This is about taking ALEC's fingerprints off radical extreme right wing legislation that is going to ramp up privatization schemes and pay-to-play.

Anonymous said...

Some members of the party in power are corrupt. It is cristal clear that they wish to change the law to hide their corruption. I thought Brad Schimel was not part of that crowd. I was wrong.