William Cronon: UW-Madison professor investigated for questionable emails

Source: Fourth Estate Newspaper, 4-20-11

email Photo by Tina Blahnik/Fourth Estate

Bill Cronon, professor of history, geography and environmental studies at UW-Madison, sent emails about the budget plan and received a request from the state for copies of them.

Bill Cronon, professor of history, geography and environmental studies at UW-Madison, recently received a public records request for emails sent over his school computer by a leading Grand Old Party official in Wisconsin.

Cronon said the request, made March 17, came less than two days after he had written his first blog, titled “Scholar as Citizen.”  The blog criticized the right-wing organization known as the American Legislative Exchange Council along with Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill.   Cronon’s blog had immediate success in the few days it was created, a fact Cronon said likely brought the Wisconsin GOP to such quick action.

“Within two days, my blog received more than half a million hits, had been read by tens of thousands of people, had been linked by newspapers all over the U.S. and been visited by people from more than two dozen foreign countries,”  Cronon said.

According to a letter sent by GOP official Stephan Thompson to UW-Madison, the request asked for emails containing specific political keywords and phrases from as early as Jan. 1.  Some of the terms included were Scott Walker, union, Republican and the names of several Republican politicians.

UW-Green Bay Assistant to the Chancellor Daniel Spielmann said the request was made under Wisconsin’s open records law, a long-standing piece of legislation designed to provide government transparency to the public….READ MORE

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