It’s been an action packed time for open government during Sunshine Week. Governor Walker’s office this week settled a lawsuit brought forth by the Wisconsin Associated Press and Madison weekly newspaper, the Isthmus. The suit alleged Walker illegally withheld public records in the form of emails that he claimed showed thousands of supporters of his budget repair bill.
“It’s unfortunate that anyone should have to file a lawsuit in order to get the Governor of the state to obey the law,” Isthmus News Editor Bill Lueders told WRN in an earlier interview.
Walker has agreed to produce the records, pay $7,000 in plaintiffs’ legal fees, and not admit guilt.
Lueders who also heads the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, admits the Governor is often open with media noting Walker’s frequent availability and tech savvy communication staff.
Another issue concerning Lueders is a conference committee in the legislature last week that he claims violated in the very least “the spirit” of the open meetings law.
Democrats claim Republican leadership hastily called the meeting without proper notification which paved the way for Senate’s passage of the budget repair bill. The Senate’s Chief Clerk has stated that meeting was in accordance with the law. Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi is taking up hearings Friday on two cases that allege otherwise.