On Friday, the Republican Party of Wisconsin said it would not withdraw its open records request seeking release of all the emails of University of Wisconsin-Madison history professor William Cronon.
The GOP filed the request with the UW last week, following a blog post by Cronon that explored the apparent influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative policy group that works with Republican state legislators. In that blog post, and in an op-ed piece in The New York Times, Cronon, one of the UW's academic stars, was critical of the tactics being used by Gov. Scott Walker.
In his blog post late Thursday, Cronon called upon the GOP to withdraw its request.
In a statement issued Friday, the Republican Party said, "In response to Professor Cronon'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.
"I find it appalling that Professor Cronon has 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 statement also said, "Like anyone else who makes an open records request in Wisconsin, the Republican Party Wisconsin does not have to give a reason for doing so."
The background on the story regarding the Republican Party request for Cronon's emails was reported in The Capital Times Friday morning. The story has been reported in media across the country throughout the day.