Why do our elected politicians have no respect for our right to privacy?
If you remember, in 2011, every person who signed the Scott Waker recall petition(and only the Scott Walker recall petition, despite there being many others - hmmmm), names and addresses were put online for everyone who supported Scott Walker to see and use for harassment, bullying and hiring processes/
For exercising their Constitutional Rights, as written in the Wisconsin Constitution, their names, addresses and phone numbers were there for the whole State of WI to do with as they may.
In 2012, the far right wing MacIver Instutute sued Senator Erpenbach to get the names of everyone who emailed him about the ACT10 Protests. Senator Erpenbach turned over all the emails, but blacked out the identifying information of his constituents.
That was not enough for the Mcgyver crew so they sued again and surprisingly won. Senator Erpenbach was then forced to turnover all names, email addresses etc of people who took five minutes out of their day to let their elected representatives know how they feel about the events of the day. MacIver needed full contact information to make sure that anyone who advocated positions they disagreed with, would now live in fear for their safety and jobs.
All the while, never caring about the privacy rights of the everyday people in WI. I am 100% for an open and honest government and completely open records. However, people contacting their legislators, or being on a legislators mailing list, is not Government.
It is incredibly ironic, that many of the same people who are whining the loudest about money being speech and how asking for donors records was an assault on free speech rights, are the same people requesting these records and making them public.
The hypocrisy does not end there. The Scott Walker administration keeps finding new ways to avoid Open records request and destroy documents. Scott Walker will not even allow us to know who visits him at the Governor's mansion, mostly because they are big donors and the moneyed base. Their privacy must be protected at all costs.
Unfortunately for the citizens of Wisconsin, the politicians trampling on your privacy rights are bi partisan in nature.
The latest attack comes from wolf in sheeps clothing Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.
Last month, Tia Torhorst — Abele's campaign manager — asked various Milwaukee legislators, including Larson, to turn over the names and email and street addresses for the thousands of recipients of their official newsletters over the past three months.That is the problem, this is not an unusual request as politicians on both sides of the aisle have been playing games with our privacy and it is time to tell them to end it!
She didn't consider her request very unusual or difficult to fill. Besides, it didn't take much time for Larson to identify the exact number of records that his staff would have to compile.
Edit note: to answer the question on what I think should be released: If you send a quick email to an elected official or are on a mailing list.
Cottage Grove, WI
Now, if you are giving money to an elected official that changes the rules and more information should be given, including employer but we have seen recently that they want you to know more about the people who occasionally contact a legislator than they do people who spend thousands of dollars buying them.