An Open Letter to the Wisconsin Secretary of State

May 17, 2011
Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug LaFollette
30 W. Mifflin, 10th Floor
Madison, WI 53703

Dear Secretary LaFollette:

Two months ago, we wrote to you with a request under the state’s Open Records Law (19.31-39, Wisconsin Statutes).

Specifically, we asked for the following from January 1st to March 18th:

Copies of all correspondence you have received, including, but not limited to, letters, emails, voice mails, records of phone calls, and logs of in-person meetings regarding the subject of changes to Wisconsin’s collective bargaining laws for public employees.

Included in this request are communications specifically pertaining to SSSB11, SSAB11, and 2011 Wis. Act 10 as well as the issue generally.

We are puzzled by your response.

Your office turned over a grand total of seven documents: Copies of three emails you received in support of your actions; copies of three letters you received in support of your actions; and, one mass email your office apparently forwarded to an unknown list of recipients.

If, indeed, your office only has received six emails/letters on this topic (and none prior to your announcement that you would delay publication of Act 10), you owe the taxpayers of Wisconsin an explanation.

On March 3rd, Fox6 television news investigators in Milwaukee reported that emails they obtained showed that the then-mayor of Madison enlisted the help of State Senator Mark Miller in an attempt to convince you to hold up the bill by taking the maximum 10 days allowed by law before publishing the bill.

On March 14th the Associated Press reported: “La Follette said he heard from many schools, cities and counties urging him to delay enactment of the law as long as possible.”

Was the documentation of these contacts from ‘many schools, cities and counties’ destroyed?

Was it merely misplaced?

Did these contacts really happen?

We’re releasing a copy of this letter to the public. If you feel no responsibility to give us an answer to these questions, perhaps you will, as a Constitutional Officer of the State of Wisconsin, feel a moral obligation to tell the truth to the citizens of the state.


Brett Healy, President
The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy