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Tue Oct 30, 2012, 04:13 PM

Five GOP lawmakers settle lawsuit with groups seeking ALEC emails (WI's fight against ALEC)


Madison - Five Republican legislators this week settled an open records lawsuit by two liberal groups by agreeing to turn over emails from their personal accounts to and from a conservative organization that works with corporations to draft legislation.

As part of the settlement, the Center for Media and Democracy in Madison and the national group Common Cause will receive $2,520 in attorney's fees and costs from the state and the lawmakers will turn over any records from their email accounts that fit the groups' open records request.

"Defendants recognize that public records may be located in personal email accounts and acknowledge that they have a legal responsibility as elected officials to provide public records to a requester," the settlement reads.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this month in Dane County Circuit Court against Reps. Tyler August of Lake Geneva, Dan Knodl of Germantown, Tom Larson of Colfax, Pat Strachota of West Bend and Jeremy Thiesfeldt of Fond du Lac.

Brendan Fischer, staff counsel at the Center for Media and Democracy, said the groups were pleased that they would receive the records but disappointed that it took a lawsuit to make that happen.

"We hope it sends a signal to other legislators that they do have a duty to comply with the open records law," Fischer said.

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Reply Five GOP lawmakers settle lawsuit with groups seeking ALEC emails (WI's fight against ALEC) (Original post)
hue Oct 2012 OP
Politicalboi Oct 2012 #1
midnight Oct 2012 #2
mojowork_n Oct 2012 #3

Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 04:32 PM

1. There should be laws that require


E-mails from political offices should be made available every week online for anyone to see. Why should they have to go through years of e-mails at a time when they should be logged weekly.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 30, 2012, 06:25 PM

2. I think that is reasonable because they are working for us and should be able to show us how...

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Response to hue (Original post)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 01:06 PM

3. Hate to say it but let's see if the emails really turn up.

On C-Span weekend BookTV, not too long ago, author Craig Unger described a similar situation:


Quick Summary:

In violation of Federal Law, which requires that elected representatives conducting official business must
have all their correspondence and transcripts available to the public, Karl Rove had a secret deal with a
Nashville, TN company called Smart Tech. When Bush administration officials were subpoena'd following
the Valerie Plame and Fired Attorney General's scandals, it was discovered that email records germane
and pertinent to those cases had gone through Smart Tech web servers. Not through the same servers
that other elected representatives used. So they were simply, "unavailable." Deniability is right at the top
of Rove's game plan, according to Unger. So if there are problems or leaks or anything gets out that might
bite them in the ass, they don't have to do a lot of messy, open back-tracking.

Even when they have to take extreme measures:


...The SmartTech servers at one point housed Karl Rove's emails. Some of Rove's email files have since mysteriously disappeared despite repeated court-sanctioned attempts to review them.

In 2001, Michael Connell's GovTech Solutions, LLC was selected to reorganize the Capitol Hill IT network, the only private-sector company to gain permission from HIR [House Information Resources] to place its server behind the firewall, he bragged.

At 12:20 am on the night of the 2004 election exit polls and initial vote counts showed John Kerry the clear winner of Ohio's presidential campaign. The Buckeye State's 20 electoral votes would have given Kerry the presidency.

But from then until around 2am, the flow of information mysteriously ceased. After that, the vote count shifted dramatically to George W. Bush, ultimately giving him a second term. In the end there was a 6.7 percent diversion---in Bush's favor---between highly professional, nationally funded exit polls and the final official vote count as tabulated by Blackwell and Connell.

Until his death Connell remained the IT supervisor....

If you go to the BookTV link, Unger says something like -- 'server traffic increased dramatically -- over 700 percent' and it stayed at that high level.... For as long as it took to flip all those votes.

So the outline of the foot print is still there -----> the record of how much bandwidth was needed to accomplish that task. But there is no imprint of the actual foot. Let alone any toe prints, or identifying or distinguishing marks that could be used to find the individuals responsible.

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