Friday, April 09, 2010

Van Hollen Has Yet to Produce Records on Frivolous Health Reform Lawsuit

[We have received the following press release from One Wisconsin Now and are pleased to publish it on their behalf.]

Van Hollen Has Yet to Produce Records on Frivolous Health Reform Lawsuit

Despite Past Statements, Van Hollen Unwilling to Meet Own Guidelines on Open Records Requests

Van Hollen said Lautenschlager's recent public support for the Open Records Law should ensure her prompt response to his request. Just this week, Lautenschlager filed suit against a Republican legislator alleging he took too long to respond to one of her requests. "I would expect to receive the requested information within ten business days," Van Hollen said. "That is if her office isn't too busy filing more frivolous, partisan nuisance lawsuits." [Van Hollen Press Release, 5/9/06]

Madison -- Wisconsin Attorney General has yet to fulfill a One Wisconsin Now open records request for communications his office had with members of the state legislature and interests inside and outside of Wisconsin in the weeks leading up to his attempt to file a partisan lawsuit to block implementation of the historic health insurance reform bill passed by Congress in March.

"Candidate JB Van Hollen said open records requests should be filled within ten days," said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. "Partisan Attorney General JB Van Hollen has chosen to flip flop to keep these records about who was pulling his strings unavailable for public scrutiny."

During his 2006 campaign, Van Hollen criticized federal lawsuits undertaken by the Wisconsin Department of Justice from Plan B contraception, No Child Left Behind and clean air regulation. Van Hollen also filed an open records requests in 2006 about several federal actions taken by then-Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, going so far as to document his opposition on a now-defunct website

"Before he tries to change the federal laws, Van Hollen ought to follow Wisconsin's laws," said Ross. "He needs to release these records and deal with the repercussions for his actions."

Van Hollen's efforts to intervene in the partisan lawsuit are by no means his first use of taxpayer-financed DOJ resources to serve the Republican Party. In 2008 while serving as state co-chair of GOP nominee John McCain's campaign, Van Hollen filed a lawsuit which could have disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of legal Wisconsin voters after pressuring from GOP leaders. Open records requests in 2008 showed a top Van Hollen aide had "multiple conversations" with Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Reince Preibus preceding Van Hollen's intervention in that case.

Other Republican Attorneys General have engaged in similar stall tactics to keep information about how broad the national conspiracy to use taxpayer-financed state departments of justice to serve the interests of powerful Republican partisans and thwart the will of the American people, who support ending the stranglehold insurance companies have on the health care.

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.


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