Wisconsin GOP Demand For Professor’s Emails Comes Up Snake Eyes
The demand by the Wisconsin Republican Party to see the emails of Professor Scott Cronon reveals nothing, except that Wisconsin Republicans continue to invoke the spirit of Joseph McCarthy. Cronon’s offense was writing an op-ed in the New York Times critical of Governor Walker and Republicans. It appeared as though Republicans were then trying to snag Cronon for using state property for political purposes. A letter from the University of Wisconsin’s legal counsel, John C. Dowling, to Stephen Thompson, the Republican requesting the emails, notes that they are complying with all GOP demands, and nothing in Cronon’s emails shows illegal activity.
At our request, Professor Cronon immediately undertook a search of all of his accumulated e-mails for the specific words, terms and names as you stated them in your request. The university’s legal staff then reviewed all of the identified e-mails to determine which ones must be made available to you pursuant to the Wisconsin Public records law. Those determinations have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate university officials. Copies of the records determined to be available to you under the law are enclosed…
You should further note that the e-mails that we have reviewed contain absolutely no evidence of political motivation, contact from individuals outside normal academic channels or inappropriate conduct on the part of Professor Cronon. The university finds his conduct, as evidenced in the e-mails, beyond reproach in every respect. He has used his university e-mail account appropriately and legitimately. He has not used his university e-mail account for any inappropriate political conduct. In fact, none of the e-mails contained any reference whatsoever to any of the specific political figures that you identified (except Governor Scott Walker), nor do they in any way reference the proposed recall efforts.
Wisconsin Republicans have shown themselves to be extreme in their treatment of firefighters, teachers, police officers, and union workers. Their disdain for free speech is just as alarming. If they think this will endear them to generations of citizens and ensure their continued power, let’s hope the electorate, aware of these tactics, believe otherwise.Click here for reuse options!
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