We brought you recently the good news that a judge ruled for the people of WI against the far right wing propaganda organization that calls itself MacIver. The MacIver institute tried to get Senator Jon Erpenbach to turn over 26,000 emails he received from his Constituents, which he did.
However, the macgyver group had no interest in the actual emails, they wanted names and contact information to start a statewide harassment campaign that would have made James O Keefe proud. So when Senator Erpenbach redacted all names and contact numbers, the "free market voice" did what they do best and sue the state to try and get their way.
Luckily the judge stopped this witch hunt in its tracks!
However the judges order was not good enough for the Beloit Daily News, they want to dish out punishment!
However let's be perfectly clear - They want to dish out punishment to the poor and middle working class public workers ONLY!
Then they doubled down(emphasis mine).
The judge said no. “The senator’s concern that his constituents might face retaliation must be considered in light of the nuclear environment that existed when he made the decision to redact the email addresses,” Grant County Circuit Judge Robert P. VanDeHey wrote in his ruling.
BOTH THE SENATOR and the judge may be within their rights, but it’s bad law nonetheless.
It’s common for private businesses to have policies restricting personal use of electronic company equipment. People can get fired for violating those policies.
Likewise, public employees are not supposed to use taxpayer-owned equipment for personal use. Nor are they supposed to engage in political activities during hours they are paid to work for the taxpayers. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office spent years investigating just that sort of activity in the John Doe case recently concluded.
The judge’s ruling essentially says it is more important to protect the workers from any consequences for such behaviors, than it is to block them from engaging in the behavior in the first place. That’s a license for workers so inclined to use public computers for political activities whenever they please, knowing any evidence identifying them and exposing the behavior can be blacked out by political friends.Before I address that, I want to clear something up quickly. The behaviors that they want punished in this instance is people sending their legislator such emails as these:
O the horror, a 12 word email of support to their legislator and we need to harrass them if they sent it at 9:15 am. They must be punished! Seriously? Now let's take a little closer look.“We appreciate the historic stand you are taking for worker's rights in our district.” and“I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for doing your jobs and representing the people of Wisconsin. I am not alone when I say that what you did means a lot to us. Thank you!”
The Beloit Daily News Scorecard:
1. Since they compared this to the John Doe investigation, how many editorials upset that Scott Walker would politic from his office using a secret router on taxpayer owned equipment? - 0
2. Editorials calling for the release of all john doe documents that were turned over in the case, so we would know who was doing and knew what on their taxpayer -owned equipment? - 0
3. Editorials complaining that John Doe investigation was a partisan investigation with no substance? - 1
4. Outrage that Scott Walker used taxpayer-owned equipment to discuss his plans to lie to the democrats to get them to come back to the state and also talked about adding violence to the peaceful protests? - 0
5. Editorials complaining about former Secretary of Health Services Dennis Smith allegedly using his taxpayer- owned computer and cell phone to carry on an affair with his high school crush (and subordinate). - 0
6. Editorials complaining about a mining company writing a bill that directly benefits their own company - 0
7. Editorials calling for the ouster of any elected representative who signed a secrecy agreement in the redistricting mess - 0 (they actually endorsed all local reps who did)!
You get the point.
Could it possibly be that because you have a personal interest in the Walker Administration staying in power, its better to black out bad behavior of political friends? Or is it just that you hold the nurse, teacher, firefighter, snow plow driver, janitor, prison guard, to a much higher standard than you do your Governor and elected officials?
The Beloit Daily News can reconsider their support of the very far right, republican front group, MacIver. We hope they do!