Thursday, July 30, 2015

AG Schimel confused, thinks Emails, Skype and Texting to modern for open records.

Well, isn't this a surprise twist in reality: Republicans have decided to use the advances of information technology, to hold back...information?

Yes, it's opposite day everyday in Republican world. In an age where paper and pencils have been replaced with electronic zeros and ones, information is now too confusing to the average legislator. Is it still information if it's in this odd and almost magical digital voodoo. WPR:
Attorney General Brad Schimel said Wisconsin's outdated open records laws were last revised in 1981, before the Internet, email, text messaging and other modern forms of communication were used within government’s halls. Because of that, said Schimel, there are a lot of unresolved questions about what forms of communication are subject to the laws.
"We don't know whether a town board member can appear in a meeting via Skype or not. We don’t know the extent to which emails and text messages are all public records or not. There are real issues to debate about to what extent those are, or should be, public records."
There's a debate? Well if we fabricate a debate I guess there would be one. Wouldn't you know it Schimel, the guy who came out so strongly against Scott Walker's sneaky plan to change our open records laws...
"Transparency is the cornerstone of democracy and the provisions in the Budget Bill limiting access to public records move Wisconsin in the wrong direction," now rationalizing away any opposition he had.
Schimel Says He Understands Why Some Lawmakers Proposed Open Records Changes - Attorney General Will Host Summit Wednesday On What Records Should Be Accessible To Public: Schimel was among the officials who voiced opposition to the changes, saying that they moved the state "in the wrong direction.

However, he emphasized Tuesday that he sympathizes with officials, "I think there’s a legitimate argument to be made that, say, the governor and his chief legal counsel are going back and forth with each other over what the final document should look like. I think you could make a legitimate argument that that’s a draft," said Schimel ... So why not consider the possibility that we just want to honestly let people within a particular government office share drafts back and forth until you produce what you're prepared to call a record for the public?" 
So Wisconsinites should wait until an legislator is "prepared to call a record...for the public," whenever that might be. Schimel really thinks we'll buy that?

You might remember back on June 1st, Schimel stood on his carnival barker podium and declared:
AG is creating an Office of Open Government to help the public obtain government records more quickly and consistently ... Also ... provide consistent and prompt advice ... noting the presumption of openness in Wisconsin law. "We shouldn't be looking for things we can deny" to the public, Schimel said. "We should be looking for what we must deny."
But the neo-fascist "Stand with Walker" Borg-like followers don't mind being taken care of by dictatorial leaders who do the thinking for them. Check out this back-and-forth in the comments:
1848: Just keep it on the yellow pads and verbal. Problem solved. It's not worth listening to the liberals whine about this.

Joe_Thomas_WI to 1848: Loss of transparency isn't a liberal issue. The idea of hiding information from the people who own it is egregious at best. If they can't take the criticism that comes with transparency they should't be in elected office.

Derik  Joe_Thomas_WI: As a public employee I could construe Joe Thomas' comments to imply that insofar as my work is partly an extension of myself, 'the public' owns me … the way these law are generally enforced shows that this is just a gotcha political tool… 

Dan Wilson: "We don't know whether a town board member can appear via skype or not." Uh, yeah we do and secondly that is not an open records issue unless we are thinking of tampering with the open meetings law as well. This wasn't an issue when democrats were in charge.

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