Boots & Sabers

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2146, 04 Jul 15

Republicans Reverse Course on Open Records

Wow. I’ve had a very busy few days and haven’t kept up on the news as much as usual. Apparently, I was away for this entire fiasco where the Republican-led Joint Finance Committee passed some sweeping changes to the open records laws that would insulate politicians from scrutiny; then people from every part of the political spectrum protested; then Walker and the Republicans waffled for a day or so with some mishmash political drivel; and then, today, they fully reversed themselves and pledged to take the changes out of the budget.

Faced with a swift and fierce backlash, Republicans Saturday abandoned a plan that would have gutted the state’s open records law.

In a joint statement issued Saturday afternoon, Gov. Scott Walker and GOP legislative leaders said the provisions relating to any changes to the law would be removed from the state budget.

“After substantive discussion over the last day, we have agreed that the provisions relating to any changes in the state’s open records law will be removed from the budget in its entirety. We are steadfastly committed to open and accountable government,” the statement read. “The intended policy goal of these changes was to provide a reasonable solution to protect constituents’ privacy and to encourage a deliberative process between elected officials and their staff in developing policy. It was never intended to inhibit transparent government in any way.”

The announcement came from Walker, but it was also attributed to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette). Darling and Nygren are co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee.

Not only was this horrible policy, but it was stunningly bad politics. Dumb, dumb, dumb…


2146, 04 July 2015


  1. Fairs Fare

    This is the perfect example of why I don’t support Walker. This is disgraceful. Add this to his waffle on abortion and there is absolutely no way he will get my vote nationally.

  2. Kevin Scheunemann


    Was your identity stolen again?

  3. Mark Maley

    I was thinking the same thing .

  4. insagtman

    Just an fyi, the assembly had a closed caucus and budget discussion the day before this was introduced. Leadership never mentioned their intent to drop this turd into our political punch bowl.

    Owen is right, really poor politics and imaging by the republican party, and I also question who’s joining the unemployment line after a pr disaster like this?

  5. Kevin scheunemann

    I suggest Robin Vos be stripped of his leadership over this.

    Be like liberals, make your moderate member, stalling the agenda, the fall person for the stupid idea that should not have been the agenda anyway.

    This sounds like a Road builder idea to begin with. Vos deserves to take heat for this.

  6. Pat

    It’s shameful that Walker wouldn’t answer whether he was involved in the creation of this. No answer is as good as saying yes. And he wants to be president?

  7. Fairs Fare

    My identity was never stolen. It was my screen name. My position on Walker has never changed. Go back, read my posts and you will see I have always believed Walker to be a failure. Especially when it comes to his broken campaign promise to end abortion in WI. He’s willing to sacrifice babies for votes. Not something I can support.

  8. Kevin Scheunemann

    “Especially when it comes to his broken campaign promise to end abortion in WI. He’s willing to sacrifice babies for votes. Not something I can support.”

    What is the alternative?

    The Jim Doyle extermination camps for the unborn?

    Because of our broken court system, incrementalism is better. Do the post 20 week bill now, go for rest later.

    Post 20 week bill MAY survive liberal judicial extermination advocates.

    A full bill doing everything is probably not going to survive Roe. Do pre 20 week bill separate so if judicial extermination forces throw it out, you still have post 20 week bill.

    This is how liberals get things done. Liberals don’t get all their Stalinist reforms done in one swoop. I like your stance, but it may cost lives long term if it all gets thrown out.

  9. Northern Pike

    Back to the Open Records fiasco.

    The problem that lawmakers don’t think they can conduct frank and open discussions unless they are shrouded from public view. A Department of Administration lawyer actually made that argument while denying “deliberative materials” concerning proposed changes to Family Care.

    If DOA is right, then why should we believe anything a politician ever says?

  10. Mark Maley

    This is the kind of stuff the GUV is going to get hit on by his rivals for 16′.

    Who thinks fewer open records is a good idea ( no matter who the party is ?)

    Way , way too many backtracks ( ” my staff got ahead of things “)

    He’s made more
    Mistakes in the last 12 months than all the rest of the time he’s governed .

    I don’t support almost anything he does but
    He was brilliant not to include the police and fire fighters in act 10 ( Kasich did and lost a referendum because of it )

    That previous walker was a force of nature .
    The new walker of the lst 12 months is eminently beatable ( and you supporters may
    Be confused by it , but you know it’s true .)

  11. Kevin Scheunemann


    As a likely Hillary supporter…you just gave and open records lecture to someone else?

    That is hilarious.

    Or will you be openly ripping Hillary for actually being in contempt of Congress, and the public, for obscuring her emails while Secretary of State?

  12. Mark Maley


    Abortion supporters would probably tell you that walkers position on abortion is about as far as a candidate could go and have any chance whatsoever of being elected president .

    The 20 week bills are not going as swimmingly as the movement would like .

    And there’s always those pesky women who vote who think it’s none of a mans business what they do .

    But assuming all abortions are outlawed , what does that look like when every single baby that is conceived is born in the U.S. ?

  13. Mark Maley

    I vote for HRC vs any of the GOP clown car occupants .

    Bernie Sanders is boring and old .

    I would strongly support Elizabeth Warren with time , talent and treasure . But that is not to be

    The open records aspect of Hillary is troubling , but I am 100% sure that both economically and in terms of getting the 3 am phone call she is superior to
    The clan of the Tea Party .

    ( yeah , I know , Benghazi , Benghazi , whitewater , blah , blah )

    She will do why she has to and win . End of story

    I understand why she drives the right crazy – and predict she will do so for the next 9 years .
    Just like bill , fatally flawed but better at politics than all the conservative chumps .

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