Of COURSE He Didn’t See the E-Mail Suggesting He Fake an Assassination Attempt on Himself! Walker Was Too Busy Trying to R
Posted Mar 27 2011 2:37pm
You’ll be happy to know that Wisconsin Governor Scott WalkerNEVER SAW the e-mail sent to him by a Johnson County, Indiana, deputy prosecutor suggesting that he stage a fake assassination attempt against himself to kill public support for the unions. He was FAR too busy harassing a University of Wisconsin professor for daring to write a blog post that was critical of Walker’s union busting efforts. Then, this professor guy wrote an op-ed that appeared in the March 22 op-ed pages of the New York Times .
BOY, is Walker steamed! Not that he has a problem with people expressing their opinions. Neither did any OTHER tin-plated Hitler from any list of dictators you’d care to name. They just didn’t much care for it when the opinion being expressed was CRITICAL of THEM!
Now, in Nazi Germany, such an op-ed would get you killed, or at least sent to a concentration camp where you would be starved, beaten, worked like a slave and THEN killed. Walker is doing nothing quite so dramatic.
Copies of all e-mails into and out of Prof. William Cronon’s state email account from January 1, 2011 to present which reference any of the following terms: Republican, Scott Walker, recall, collective bargaining, AFSCME, WEAC, rally, union, Alberta Darling, Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke, Rob Cowles, Scott Fitzgerald, Sheila Harsdorf, Luther Olsen , Glenn Grothman, Mary Lazich, Jeff Fitzgerald, Marty Beil, or Mary Bell.
Or, as TPM puts it, any e-mail the professor wrote on his University e-mail account that refers to the state’s top Republican leaders, Walker and the Fitzgerald brothers who lead the two houses of the legislature; major unions and union leaders Marty Beil and Mary Bell; and the eight Republican state senators who have been targeted by Democrats for recall campaigns.
Professor Cronon suggested that Gov. Walker, to use a delightful term I first read in a Stephen King book (I forget which one) “hammer a pound of sand up his ass.” Only he put it more eloquently, calling it“a political fishing expedition with the purpose of causing embarrassment to correspondents seems sure to have a severe chilling effect that could only undermine the university’s longstanding reputation for defending academic freedom.”
So, the state GOP filed a FOIA request . Freedom of Information Act. Yes. You read that correction. The Republican Party of Wisconsin has filed a Freedom of Information Act to get the e-mails, admittedly written on a public computer, written by a public employee, because they want to embarrass that public employee for having the balls to criticize Oberstuppengruppenfuhrer Walker. They can’t fire him, he’s a tenured professor. So, what they hope to do is silence all OTHER state employees by dragging the professor’s name through the mud (and the state’s innumerable right wing radio talk shows) for daring to speak his mind with friends, colleagues and students.
This will have a chilling effect…
Oh, wait… you think that “chilling effect” remark was made by or on behalf of the professor?
WRONG-O!!! Again, from TPM.
Like anyone else who makes an open records request in Wisconsin, the Republican Party of Wisconsin does not have to give a reason for doing so,” state GOP executive director Mark Jefferson says in a new statement Greg Sargent reports — with Jefferson then tearing into critics for trying to intimidate the GOP.
“I have never seen such a concerted effort to intimidate someone from lawfully seeking information about their government,” Jefferson writes. “Further, it is chilling to see that so many members of the media would take up the cause of a professor who seeks to quash a lawful open records request. Taxpayers have a right to accountable government and a right to know if public officials are conducting themselves in an ethical manner.”
Because being critical of Sturmeroppenwaffenblitzkommandant Walker can NOT be construed as conducting one’s self in an ethical manner.
Never mind that the blog he posted on is based out of state. Never mind the fact that the New York Times is published in New York, which — last time I looked — was nowhere NEAR Wisconsin.
Never mind that Cronon’s use of state e-mail to discuss political matters was perfectly legal. According to the professor, the law is quite clear…
Much more important, there is an explicit prohibition against individuals using state email addresses for partisan political purposes. Here’s the crucial sentence: “University employees may not use these resources to support the nomination of any person for political office or to influence a vote in any election or referendum.” (You can read these policies for yourself at http://www.cio.wisc.edu/policies/appropriateuse.aspx.)
I’d be willing to bet quite a lot of money that Mr. Thompson and the State Republican Party are hoping that I’ve been violating this policy so they can use my own emails to prove that I’m a liberal activist who is using my state email account to engage in illegal lobbying and efforts to influence elections. By releasing emails to demonstrate this, they’re hoping they can embarrass me enough to silence me as a critic.
Condon sums up his position like the scholar he is.
Let me conclude by repeating that I have nothing to hide in the emails I have sent and received using my UW-Madison email account, but I think we will all lose if the Republican Party of Wisconsin insists on pursuing the reckless course of action that has prompted it to issue this Open Records Law request. If the University of Wisconsin-Madison is forced to turn over my emails in response to this request, here are some of the things that are put at risk:
1) Questions will inevitably be asked about whether the University and the State of Wisconsin have struck a proper balance between the unquestioned value of open records for the democratic oversight of formal governmental processes and the rights of privacy for students and faculty members at a research university to pursue lines of inquiry even if they offend powerful political interests.
2) Anyone using email to communicate with University of Wisconsin professors will likely have second thoughts about whether they can afford to be candid and honest in such emails.
3) When a faculty member like myself becomes an officer of a major scholarly organization, questions may be raised about whether it is wise or safe to use UW-Madison email addresses for communications relating to that organization.
4) If such requests were to become a common feature of life at UW-Madison, it would likely become much harder for the university to recruit the best professors in the country to join its faculty—and it’s easy to imagine the most marketable professors leaving our campus if subjected to this kind of harassment.
Faculty members like me can probably avoid many of these problems by never using their UW email addresses for any of their professional communications, even with their own students…but that in itself would seem to be a most unfortunate outcome of the Republican Party’s reckless action. I have always felt honored to use my @wisc.edu address when communicating with colleagues as a way to declare the delight and privilege I feel being a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ceasing that practice, or adding a note to all my emails warning colleagues that they must always be cautious when they write me lest political inquiries intrude upon our private communications: I would feel a deep sense of regret about such an outcome and the chilling effect it would have on virtually all university communications.
Jefferson’s statement also said: “Finally, I find it appalling that Professor Cronin (sic) seems to have plenty of time to round up reporters from around the nation to push the Republican Party of Wisconsin into explaining its motives behind a lawful open records request, but has apparently not found time to provide any of the requested information.”
The professor responded — on his personal e-mail — to the editors at TPM:
“I had naively hoped that the Republican Party might be receptive to a moderate, fair-minded, well-reasoned appeal on my part. I think we all have an interest in trying to balance freedom of information versus intellectual freedom of inquiry — to say nothing of coercive state power versus liberty and privacy, values that I’ve always thought I could count on the Republican Party to defend. So they’re not the only ones who are shocked by this exchange. I had honestly hoped for a more thoughtful response from them. I’m surprised to discover that they think all university professors are “government officials” — and I also wish they could have spelled my name correctly.”
Spelling. Not a wingnut’s long-suit as we see on far too many right wing websites. Education. That’s for pussies! Not for real MEN, like Walker and the GOP Fascist Badger Bastards
Neither, apparently, is recall of recent events.
The deputy prosecutor from Indiana, the guy who sent the e-mail saying that Walker should stage an assassination attempt against himself, said he didn’t send it, that his e-mail was hacked (probably by union supporters) until he remembered that, oh yeah, he did send it and resigned from his job.
And, of course, Walker said he never saw it.
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said the Republican governor’s staff were surprised when an investigative reporter pointed it out to him.
Shortly after the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism published the e-mail coming from Indiana prosecutor Carlos F. Lam, Lam’s resignation from his job was announced Thursday.
Of course, Walker ALSO didn’t remember admitting that he had considered employing anti-union goons to bust heads in the recent labor battle in Madison in his telephone conversation with the faux Koch brother who pranked him… until he heard the recording of himself saying it.