We chose not to record an editorial last Friday critical of state Sen. Leah Vukmir’s claim of legislative immunity from Wisconsin’s Open Records Law, and the state Attorney General’s office for supporting her claim, because we were worried one of them would have the common sense to withdraw the claim before the editorial aired Sunday night. It didn’t happen.
So today we’ll ask the question – what are you two thinking? First of all it’s troubling that Sen. Vukmir feels she needs to hide from the public records related to her involvement with the American Legislative Exchange Council. But to claim immunity from defending against a lawsuit claiming that refusal is in violation of the Open Records law would essentially send the message that all lawmakers could ignore the law. And Attorney General Van Hollen’s support of that claim is just bizarre, to say nothing of appearing politically motivated given his contrary advice to Sen. Jon Erpenbach two years ago.
Wisconsin’s Open Records law is a critical measure of accountability and honesty of elected officials. This abuse needs to be dealt with, in court if necessary.