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Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

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Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:45 am

ALEC claims its secret communications (including writing what becomes state law) with the GOP controlled Wisconsin Legislature is not covered by open records laws. Others disagree.

A clash between a national conservative think tank and a liberal Madison-based advocacy group is exposing new wrinkles in old questions about how much of the public’s business can be conducted behind closed doors.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC, is being challenged for using Internet drop boxes and broad new assertions of privacy to shield from public view the discussions of elected officials and corporate leaders it brings together to write model legislation for state governments.

In particular, the Arlington, Va.-based group has begun adding a disclaimer to documents it provides to state lawmakers contending that the material — including meeting agendas and policy proposals — isn’t subject to the Wisconsin Open Records Law or similar laws in any state.

Advocates for so-called sunshine laws said they couldn’t see how Wisconsin lawmakers could legally withhold ALEC materials from public view.

“A stamp by a private non-governmental group saying the records that it shares with lawmakers are not subject to open records laws should carry no weight,” said Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. “Absolutely none.”

Bob Dreps, a Madison lawyer who represents news organizations, including the Wisconsin State Journal, in open records cases, said adding a disclaimer had no force of law.

“It’s the content of the document that matters, not what kind of label you put on it,” Dreps said.

Some Forons have been disturbed that our national government conducts business that is not totally transparent. Does their disquiet also apply to how our state laws are made?
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby bdog » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:09 am

Some Forons have been disturbed that our state government conducts business that is not totally transparent. Does their disquiet also apply to how our federal laws are made?
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:21 am

Please don't shit on this thread.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:22 am

I don't know the state open records law well enough to judge this on its face.

It seems like a legal reach to claim access to private data stored on private servers. Not that it's outside the spirit of the open records law, but that (and I'll have to re-read the law later today) ALEC found a loophole they could exploit. Personally I think Lueders is tilting at windmills on this one anyway. If the drop boxes don't work, they will find a different method that will. Lueders might be better off writing an open letter asking Anonymous for help.

Given the nature of the communications that are being sought, I'm not even sure getting hold of them is that important in the long run. Do we really need to see the evolution that a proposal went through to determine if it's a crap bill or not?
Last edited by Francis Di Domizio on Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby bdog » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:25 am

Francis you missed a crucial point:

It's ALEC !!!!!

Henry I'll stop shitting if you agree to stop trolling with your thread titles.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:29 am

Was the Wisconsin State Journal (not a liberal rag) trolling when they wrote the title to the story I cited? To wit: ALEC says its communications with Wisconsin lawmakers are private
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby bdog » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:34 am

Why don't you change the thread title to that then?

Hmmmmm??????
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:36 am

Why don't you comment directly on the issue involved? Add something useful, for a change. Quit trying to derail this discussion.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby bdog » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:40 am

I have no comments on the topic Henry.

Just think this is as appropriate place as any to ask you to stop trolling with your thread titles.

But... thank you for publishing the original WSJ headline so everyone can see what you did...it's a step.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:43 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:I don't know the state open records law well enough to judge this on its face.

Yet you go on to say you don't think the law has been violated and even it is was, you say so what. Then you further say they will find another way to get around it, so why bother. Throwing up you hands and giving up is just what the GOP ALEC cabal wants.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby bdog » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:54 am

Rex Kramer: No... that's just what they'll be expecting us to do!



1ca·bal noun \kə-ˈbäl, -ˈbal\

Definition of CABAL

1
: the artifices and intrigues of a group of persons secretly united in a plot (as to overturn a government); also : a group engaged in such artifices and intrigues
2
: club, group <a cabal of artists>
See cabal defined for English-language learners »
See cabal defined for kids »
Examples of CABAL

a cabal plotting to overthrow the government
<a conspiracy theory about the existence of an international cabal devoted to world domination>
Origin of CABAL

French cabale cabala, intrigue, cabal, from Medieval Latin cabbala cabala, from Late Hebrew qabbālāh, literally, received (lore)
First Known Use: 1614
Related to CABAL

Synonyms
1ring, conspiracy, crew, gang, Mafia, mob, syndicate
Related Words
bunch, circle, clan, clique, coterie, coven, crowd, galère, lot, network, pack, set; junta, oligarchy
more
See Synonym Discussion at plot
Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism
Rhymes with CABAL

Algol, atoll, austral, Bhopal, Cabral, cantal, Chagall, chorale, grand mal, gun moll, hamal, jacal, mistral, narwhal, Natal, nopal, Pascal...
[+]more
2cabal intransitive verb
ca·balledca·bal·ling
Definition of CABAL

: to unite in or form a cabal
First Known Use of CABAL

1678
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:59 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Please don't shit on this thread.

Bump
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby bdog » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:47 am

bdog wrote:Why don't you change the thread title to that then?

Hmmmmm??????

Bump
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Galoot » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:58 am

Yes, bdog, please stop shitting all over the thread. There is nothing wrong with the thread title.

I don't know the letter of the open records law, but the spirit of the law certainly seems to be that if the lawmakers are using some document to help make laws, then it is a matter of public record. A private organization's statement doesn't change that.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby snoqueen » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:22 am

It only makes sense if you acknowledge that particular private organization makes the laws...

at which point things become pretty much recursive.
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