They don’t know how to spell my name, but since the Republican Party doesn’t seem to have posted this response to my recent blog on their own website yet, I thought their side should get a fair hearing here. See below.
I have to say I’m at least as shocked as they say they are, but I’m rapidly gaining an unhappy education about what hardball politics in the United States now looks like.
I worried for a while that my New York Times op-ed on “Wisconsin’s Radical Break” might have gone too far in drawing a carefully limited parallel between the current tactics of the Republican Party in Wisconsin and those of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s…but since the Republican Party seems intent on offering evidence to support that comparison, I guess I should just let their words and actions speak for themselves.
I sure hope we can rebuild a culture of civility and fairness and generosity in this country. It’s honestly the lack of fair-mindedness in the statement below that I find most disturbing.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katie McCallum, Communications Director (608) 257-4765
March 25, 2011
In response to Professor William Cronin’s deplorable tactics in seeking to force the Republican Party of Wisconsin to withdraw a routine open records request, Executive Director Mark Jefferson released the following statement:
“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.
“I have never seen such a concerted effort to intimidate someone from lawfully seeking information about their government.
“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. The Left is far more aggressive in this state than the Right in its use of open records requests, yet these rights do extend beyond the liberal left and members of the media.
“Finally, I find it appalling that Professor Cronin 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.
“We look forward to the University’s prompt response to our request and hope those who seek to intimidate us from making such requests will reconsider their actions.”
Republican Party of Wisconsin | 148 East Johnson St. | Madison, Wisconsin 53703 p: 608.257.4765 | f: 608.257.4141| e: firstname.lastname@example.org