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Wisconsin’s Governor finally complies with open records law

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Better late than never. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has finally complied with Wisconsin’s open records law, and released emails which journalists had requested. The request was first made months ago, in a test of Evers’ compliance with laws promoting openness in government. The initial request was for a month’s worth of the Governor’s emails, then one week’s worth, and finally one day’s worth of emails. Evers denied all the requests, suggesting he would only comply with open records requests that contained a specific subject matter, not a mass batch of emails. Now, Evers has finally agreed to provide the one day’s worth of emails that were requested. And what did we learn? One day’s worth of emails from the Governor’s account yielded just three emails, two copies of news releases, and his daily schedule. That shoots a big hole in the Governor’s argument that it would be too burdensome to release all emails rather than those just dealing with a specific subject matter. In addition, the law does not insist that those requesting government emails under the state’s open records law have to contain a subject matter. In fact, the law is quite clear that is not necessary. It is good that our Governor has finally released the requested documents. Better late than never. But early would have been much better than late.

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