Monday, April 15, 2013

Erpenbach V Maciver

By Jeff Simpson

And the winner is the People of Wisconsin.   

The MacIver Institute for republican propaganda has been well documented and exposed on these pages and many others and its time to do it again.  

The republican front group Maciver Institute did an open records request on WI Senator Jon Erpenbach:

The MacIver Institute sent an open record request in 2011 to State Senator Jon Erpenbach requesting all correspondence sent or received regarding “the subject of changes to Wisconsin’s collective bargaining law for public employees.”
So Maciver wanted a list of everyone who contacted Senator Erpenbach regarding ACT 10 and the budget, not caring what they said but only caring who said it!    The Senator wisely supplied all of the emails but redacted all of the contact information that would let the thugs at Maciver know who they were!  

Maciver had big plans for these names.....pure harassment of innocent Wisconsinites.   Maciver ,backed by secret big money, then did what they do best .....SUE.

 Senator Jon Erpenbach hung tough and was awarded a victory for the safety and security of the people of Wisconsin.   

Grant County Circuit Judge Robert P. VanDeHey said that it was "questionable" whether public employees had done anything wrong. He said that the records were public, but that Erpenbach was allowed to consider whether the employees might suffer retaliation when deciding whether to release their names under a test balancing the public good of disclosure against that of withholding the names.
"While this court may not have arrived at the same conclusion as did Senator Erpenbach, it is required by case law to accord deference to his judgment," VanDeHey said.
"In the future, public employees would be well advised to contact their political leaders using their personal computers and while not at work," the judge went on to write.
Each side filed requests for summary judgment in the case. VanDeHey denied both motions but did order Erpenbach to provide unredacted copies of the almost 2,000 emails for an in-camera inspection.
Erpenbach argued that as a state senator, his interpretation of the Open Records Law in redacting the emails is not reviewable by the court, under the separation of powers.
Even if it were, he says, he balanced possible harassment of the senders against the public interest in knowing their names and determined the latter did not outweigh the former.

Thanks to Senator Erpenebach for protecting the people of Wisconsin:

"Obviously I am elated and believe that justice has been well-served. Republican front group the MacIver Institute requested and received over 26,000 constituent records from the Act 10 time period. They got what they asked for - all communications," Erpenbach said in a statement.

As for the Anti-American Maciver Instutute, they cost the taxpayers of this state over $140,000 trying to keep 26,000 Wisconsinites safe.  Apparently contacting your elected representative is too much for them,so they need to know who still thinks we live in a democracy where the elected representatives actually represent the people.    

Call Brett Healy and tell him to reimburse the Wisconsin taxpayers the $140,000 they cost us!  

The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy

Brett Healy, President
44 East Mifflin Street, Suite 201
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 1.608.237.7290





  1. The link doesn't to the MacIver Institute for republican propaganda doesn't really give a field with which to leave a comment.

    I'd have told them to ante up that $140,000 to the state of WI. What you share with your elected official should stay private.

    Thank you Sen. Erpenbach for thinking of the voters!

  2. And to think this wasn't even a Dane County judge! Does that mean there are wackos beyond Dane Co borders? Or does it mean that justice prevails elsewhere as well as here? I think the latter.