Groups clash over which documents are public
Controversy involves the ALEC conservative think tank
MADISON, Wis. — A clash between a national conservative group and a liberal Wisconsin advocacy group is raising questions about how much of the public’s business can be conducted behind closed doors.
A Wisconsin State Journal report said the controversy involves the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. The conservative think tank writes legislation for state governments.
The group has begun using file-hosting services to exchange documents with government officials, shielding the discussions from public view.
That angers the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. The Madison-based advocacy group said the public has a right to see any document in the government’s possession that relates to how the government does its business.
The Madison-based Center for Media and Democracy filed a lawsuit this week seeking to obtain ALEC materials from a Republican state senator.