FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ron Heuer
ELECTION REFORM GROUP ANNOUNCES LITIGATION TO COMPEL RACINE TO PRODUCE PUBLIC RECORDS
Nation’s leading watchdog, The Amistad Project, and WI lawmaker denied access to public records for over five months
Racine, Wisconsin/August 26, 2021 – The Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society, the nation’s leading election integrity watchdog, along with the Wisconsin Voter Alliance announced today that it is filing an open records lawsuit against the City of Racine. They are joined in the litigation by media outlet HOT Government and State Representative Janel Brandtjen.
The groups were forced to seek relief through state court after the City of Racine failed to comply with public records requests since March. The records contain communications between city officials and private nonprofits and their operatives pertaining to the conduct of the 2020 elections.
“We’re optimistic that the courts will agree with the merits of our case and compel the City of Racine – well known for stonewalling open records requests – to turn over the documents it has been hiding,” said Amistad Project attorney Erick Kaardal.
Email communications involving officials from Racine and four other Wisconsin cities show evidence of collusion with private nonprofit groups, including the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which set conditions on the conduct of their elections in exchange for grant funding. The Amistad Project and the Wisconsin Voter Alliance filed complaints against the so-called “Wisconsin 5” with the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) based on these findings obtained through other public records requests. Racine has either refused or ignored subsequent requests for additional information relevant to those complaints, however, and after waiting for more than five months The Amistad Project is now asking the courts to intervene.
“We are disappointed but not surprised that the City of Racine wouldn’t respond to open records requests, even from a state legislator,” said Wisconsin Voter Alliance President Ron Heuer. “The voters of Wisconsin have a right to know how the elections were funded and managed.”
“All public officials are bound by oath to be transparent in their conduct and to serve the interests of their constituents. Through this litigation, we hope to provide transparency and accountability to ensure the sanctity of elections in Wisconsin,” said Phill Kline, director of The Amistad Project.
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