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Using the Open Records Law To Intimidate Critics

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    Last Updated: March 28, 2011


    Layzej writes “On March 15, Professor Bill Cronon posted his first blog. The subject was the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council in influencing recent legislation in Wisconsin and across the country. Less than two days later, his university received a communication formally requesting under the state’s Open Records Law copies of all emails he sent or received pertaining to matters raised in the blog. Remarkably, the request was sent to the university’s legal office by Stephan Thompson of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, with no effort to obscure the political motivations behind it. In a recent editorial, the New York Times notes that demanding copies of e-mails and other documents is the latest technique used politically to silence critics.”

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