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Posted: 9/2/2005 5:40:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/2/2005 5:40:55 AM EDT by glenn_r]
Thanks to some ineptitude on the part of the bill's sponsors, Peg Lautenschlager is making out the CCW movement to be the bad guys.


Gun bill ignites open records dispute
Does sharing draft with outsiders make it public?
Posted: Aug. 29, 2005
Madison - A contentious bill that would allow Wisconsin residents to carry concealed guns has acquired a new layer of controversy - this time over the state's public records law.

Deputy Attorney General Dan Bach said legislators must release a draft of the bill because the National Rifle Association and others outside the Legislature had a hand in writing the legislation.

But Rep. Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford), one of the bill's authors, said he was refusing to turn it over on the grounds that bills are confidential until they are formally introduced. Besides, Gunderson said, no one other than lawmakers and their staffs has seen or worked on the latest version of the bill.

He said that he gave an early copy of the bill to about four people, including an NRA representative, who gave him feedback on the measure. That draft was identical to the version of the bill that passed the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2003, he said.

Doyle vetoed the 2003 bill. The Senate overrode that veto, but the Assembly fell one vote short of doing so, allowing Doyle's veto to stand.

Gunderson and Sen. Dave Zien (R-Eau Claire) plan to roll out their latest version of the measure this fall, possibly within the next couple of weeks.

Gunderson told the Journal Sentinel early this month that under the new bill, permits allowing people to carry concealed weapons would be issued by Democratic Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager's office. The earlier bill would have required county sheriffs to issue the permits, which many of them cited as a reason for opposing the bill.

Shortly after the story ran, Bach made a written request for copies of any drafts that Gunderson or Zien had shared with third parties. Bach said he made the request because the new bill could hurt the Department of Justice's budget and could make the public less safe.

Gunderson and Zien wrote back, saying they needed to consult with lawyers and legislative leaders but noting that drafts are not subject to the public records law.

A hand in the writing
The attorney general is contemplating suing over the matter, Bach said. Since making the request, he said, he has worried that special interests are helping to craft the bill.

"I made the request primarily because I wanted to see the bill draft, and when I got the response that I got from them, it raised concerns . . . that once again this appears to be a situation where special interests are being afforded a role in the legislative process and the rest of us are being frozen out of it," he said.

Bach said he fears lawmakers will call a hearing quickly after introducing the bill, which would make it difficult for opponents to challenge the measure because they would have little time to study it.

Gunderson said the bill would be public for at least a week before a hearing was held. He called Bach's request for the documents premature.

"As soon as we have a final version, we'll share it right away, but we don't have a final version," he said.

Gunderson said he hopes to unveil the bill within two weeks, which could blunt the likelihood of a lawsuit.

"This legislation is going to be introduced really soon, so a lot of this is an argument over not much," said Ron Sklansky, a Legislative Council attorney. "It is much in terms of the general principle, but it is not much in terms of this particular issue because once that bill is introduced, all this stuff is going to be open and there's going to be plenty of public discussion."

Even if this public records fight ends quickly, the issue is likely to be one that remains on the Capitol landscape because lawmakers often share bills with lobbyists, some of whom take an active role in writing bills.

In 2003, Lautenschlager wrote an opinion stating that drafts of bills must be made public if they have been shared with third parties.

She issued the opinion after environmental groups complained that a deregulation bill had been given to business groups.

Sklansky countered that legislators need to have a chance to formulate bills outside the public spotlight. Once bills are introduced, he said, they get a public airing.

"There is a method of coming up with legislation that is longstanding and that has been treated as confidential for a long time, and I think it's that practice the Legislature wants to protect," he said.

But Bob Dreps, a Madison attorney who often represents the Journal Sentinel and other media outlets in public records cases, said state law makes no distinction between drafts of bills and drafts of other documents.

"If (a lawmaker) shared it with lobbyists, he can no longer under the definition of a record contend it's a draft," he said.

Here's an idea. Introduce the frikken bill already. I don't understand why they've waited this long. Oh yeah, so they can run out of time to get it passed, like the first time.
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 6:43:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By glenn_r:

Here's an idea. Introduce the frikken bill already. I don't understand why they've waited this long. Oh yeah, so they can run out of time to get it passed, like the first time.

Yup, it seems like ll it is is a way for them to say hey we keep trying and it keeps failing. But keep voting for us and one day it will make it through. This should have been introduced the first day of the new session after it was vetoed. No one gives to shits, this hasd just become a way for them to try and get votes. Nothing is going to happen on it this year. They'll intro it, and it will get bogged down till the end of the session and nothing will be done.
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 7:23:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/2/2005 10:07:40 AM EDT by Locked_Dolomite]
I'm an optimist (really), and this article smacks of one thing: fear. Our opponents are scared - while that alone doesn't mean much - I still see it as a good sign.

It’s sad really. We know it’ll get through both sides of the legislature the first time no problem – but Governor Doyle has all but sworn a sacred oath that he’ll veto it again.

Until he’s out or the Supreme Court decrees that is 921.23 is unconstitutional, we’re going to be sitting in the same boat.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v607/dolomite1911/cowbell1sz.gifThe Original Dolomite® – Arfcom Refugee

Link Posted: 9/2/2005 11:07:34 AM EDT
I also agree that wi won't get CCW until doyle is out!
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 11:56:14 AM EDT
In State v. Fisher the lower court is asking the SC for clarification not a ruling. That clarification should be the end to Wis. Stat. § 941.23 as to constitutionality of RKBA. Then watch the the libs franticly try to pass some stupid CCW laws of their making, what a joke that will beWe must keep pushing for a bill like the PPA to show the SC that the legislature has been incapable of satisfying the constitutionality of Wis. Stat. § 941.23.
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 12:08:56 PM EDT
Since you guys know how things should be run down there, how many of you are running?

Let us know so we can vote for you cause you'll get things done.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 5:01:28 AM EDT
I hate to say it, but IF this is the whole story, I actually agree with Peg...


Lawmakers Accused Of Hiding Concealed Weapons Bill
Eau Claire Senator Says Bill Will Be Made Public When It's Introduced

POSTED: 9:16 am CDT September 2, 2005
UPDATED: 9:41 am CDT September 2, 2005

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin's attorney general is suing two Republican lawmakers , accusing them of hiding from the public the draft of a bill that would allow Wisconsin residents to carry concealed weapons.

The lawsuit accuses Sen. David Zien and Rep. Scott Gunderson of providing a copy of the bill to a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association while they were refusing a public records request from the state Department of Justice for the draft.

Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager asked the court to order the lawmakers to turn over the draft. But Zien, of Eau Claire, called the lawsuit "ludicrous and obscene." He and Gunderson, who is from Waterford, plan to introduce the bill sometime this fall.

He says the bill will be made public when it's introduced. He acknowledged sharing drafts with an NRA lobbyist and two outside lawyers but says he sees nothing wrong with it.

How about open government? If WAVE was trying to pass a gun prohibition bill and shared it with lobbyists, I'd demand to see it too.

Oh, and hit the poll on the link.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 5:48:39 PM EDT
I say if she want's a draft of the bill then give her the most outrageous draft they can make. It's a "DRAFT" not the final bill. Let her and the Goober make fools of themselves (easy to do with this bunchhen
Sorta bait-n-switch.

My vote on the link tied the yes with the no'shock.gif This must be changed.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 4:47:05 AM EDT
Too bad that bitch didn't hit a tree when she went on her drunk driving spree in a publicly owned car.

As for cc ... I'm not too optimistic this year, we couldn't even vote out the turncoat bastard who stabbed us in the back during the veto overrides last year.

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