Speaking of opaque government… the Open Records Laws are very clear. You don’t have to disclose your identity to make a request.
An open records lawsuit filed anonymously against the Madison Metropolitan School District last fall was settled in May after the district released the records sought.
A “John Doe” filed the lawsuit against the district last November represented by attorney Tom Kamenick, the president and founder of the Wisconsin Transparency Project.
The records sought mostly related to “weekly updates” from the superintendent to School Board members, with the anonymous requester seeking any and all records presented in such meetings. Doe had also filed requests for curriculum plans, school improvement plans and the annual seclusion and restraint report, among other topics.Doe had used the website MuckRock and not identified themself, which MMSD cited as a reason not to release the records.
“Despite your disclaimer that ‘this request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests,’ your request has not identified the actual requester,” MMSD replied to some requests, according to the lawsuit. “While the Wisconsin Open Records law does not require disclosure of the requester’s identity, the MMSD contends that the requester’s identity is relevant in its determination of whether there is a safety concern that would prohibit disclosure of the requested documents.”