Wausau Daily Herald | Everyone’s a watchdog under open records law

WILL Deputy Counsel and Litigation Manager Tom Kamenick was out on the road last week, part of a seminar on open government. Panelists featured journalists and other practitioners and represented all political persuasions. From the Wausau Daily Herald:

“Other experts with the roadshow came from the Society of Professional JournalistsWisconsin Institute for Law and LibertyCenter for Media and Democracy,Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and the MacIver Institute. Daily Herald Media was a local sponsor.

Here are some tips for residents seeking public records, from Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty attorney Tom Kamenick:

  • Use anonymity. People requesting records don’t have to disclose who they are or why they want the records.
  • Electronic records are records. If requested, government entities have to provide records electronically when the material was created electronically. Electronic records contain metadata, with information on who created the documents and when, Kamenick said. 
  • Record holders can only charge copying costs if necessary. More than 25 cents a page is suspect, Kamenick said. “I think even 25 cents is suspect.””
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