Van Hollen Should Fulfill Records Request Now!

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It now appears that Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’€™s office is admitting that top officials at the Wisconsin Department of Justice consulted with Republican Party operatives regarding the filing of J.B. Van Hollen’€™s frivolous lawsuit against the state’€™s Government Accountability Board. The suit could cause as many as 1 million voters to be disenfranchised, an action that is likely to serve the political interests of the John McCain presidential campaign, for which Van Hollen serves as a state co-chair.

Shortly after the partisan suit was filed and a full week before these latest allegations of coordination, OWN filed an open records request with DOJ. In it we demanded full disclosure by the DOJ, asking for any and all documentation of communications that they may have had with Republican operatives prior to filing the partisan lawsuit. They finally admitted to such communications yesterday and today it’€™s time that they turn over the records that we requested a full week ago.

Specifically our open records request, which was filed and acknowledged by DOJ on September 12, asked for the following:

“….all records of email correspondence between any employee of the Wisconsin Department of Justice and any employees, officials, or representative of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, the Republican National Committee, John McCain for President Campaign that includes the phrase: Help America Vote Act; HAVA; Government Accountability Board; GAB; Kevin Kennedy; Jon Becker, Jonathan Becker, or John Becker; Reince Priebus; Chris Mohrman; or Obama.”

OWN’€™s request covers email communications sent during the period of May 4, 2008 to September 11, 2008 and also includes a request of Van Hollen’s calendar and schedule from August 27, 2008 to September 8, 2008.

Several media outlets reported today that RPW lawyer Chris Mohrman, an individual noted specifically in the OWN open records request, admitted he communicated with Van Hollen’s lawyers prior to the filing of Van Hollen’s suit. Mohrman and the RPW had appeared before the state’s Government Accountability Board prior to Van Hollen’s taxpayer-funded lawsuit.

It appears DOJ employees conspired with top Republican officials to file this frivolous lawsuit. One Wisconsin Now has lawfully asked for any records of these communications a full week ago and we intend to vigorously pursue the release of the records using all legal means at our disposal. J.B. Van Hollen should do the right thing and release those records immediately!

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