Lazich records request stonewall

Not at all unexpected I might add.

I received this e-mail from Wisconsin State Senator Mary Lazich:
From: Sen.Lazich []
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 9:16 AM
To: cindykilkenny@*****.com
Subject: Public records request
From: Marchant, Robert
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 4:36 PM
To: Lazich, Mary
“Subject: Public records request
Senator Lazich—

Pursuant to your request, I have contacted the Legislative Technology Services Bureau (LTSB) to determine if any records exist indicating the date and time that particular Websites were visited by your staff person Kevin Fischer during the 30 day period specified in the public records request you received. The LTSB has informed me that no such records exist.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you.

Robert J. Marchant
Chief Clerk and Director of Operations
Wisconsin Senate

Here’s what I had asked for:

“I also request to review the internet use information from his work computer for the last month, including sites visited and times used. I plan to make a connection from his postings to your office.”

Of course I replied that I wanted to see everything, not just visits to “partiular Websites.” I think I’ll need to reword this and try again. Any ideas?


  1. Maggie Milhouse says:

    I am admittedly new to this entire thing, but I have been reading up on things you linked to or posted regarding this situation. Instead of looking for ways to reword it maybe just realize there is no story here. Clearly Lazich did follow up as this Marchant person responded to the email she sent stating that he couldn’t find anything. Possibly Mr. Fischer has committed no offense other than blogging in a way others find offensive and unprofessional. Perhaps it would be prudent to take the job description and salary info and call it a day. I highly doubt the chief clerk of operations or whatever the title is is involved in some type of coverup.

  2. No argument of a cover up from me. What I’m questioning is the phrase “particular Websites” that was conveyed. Did they look in only a couple of places? I don’t know. That’s why I think I have to try again. I feel certain that Fischer signed into the state system during that time frame. I want to see where he goes.

    Part of this is the exercise of getting the information from a system that claims to be open regarding public records. It doesn’t have as much to do with Fischer and becomes more about learning the process. I’ve never made a state request before, so it doesn’t surprise me that there is some trial and error involved.

  3. Maggie Milhouse says:

    I would say you have had good luck. Most of us wouldn’t even know where to begin and you were able to get salary and job description info. Don’t know how the state is, but I know my employer strictly prohibits use of internet on work time. A co-worker was actually fired for looking something up that wasnt related to work. I think a news site. Nothing bad at all. Possibly the state has the same info so Mr. Fisher uses his internet time at home.

  4. Perhaps there’s a little value in showing the process of looking. You’re right – most people wouldn’t know where to start.

    I hadn’t thought of that…is there a user agreement that state employees sign? Is there a time card that would show hours worked? Hmmm…

  5. Dates (and in some cases times) of sites visited would easily be recovered from the History and/or Index.dat files on Fischer’s computer. Heck, forensic scientists could ever recover it, unless the hard drive was scrubbed. Not sure how far you’d have to go to get some of that data.

  6. Shawn Matson says:

    CSI: Wisconsin

  7. I agree with BrkfldDad – it shouldn’t be this difficult to find information on a PC.

    Otherwise, thank you Cindy for keeping all of us informed on this. You did something that most of us probably wouldn’t have the stamina or guts to do, or continue on doing.

    I’m just curious – since you didn’t mention any particular websites in your Open Records request, then what did Mr. Marchant “attempt” to find? What particular websites were told to him that you supposedly asked for?

    It’s just all very fishy.

  8. Maggie Milhouse says:

    I didn’t take Marchants comments to mean they only asked for certain websites to be looked at but rather no websites were found. That is just my interpretation though. Possibly it just means that no blogging was done on work time. Other way I think the question has been answered.

  9. Maggie Milhouse says:

    oops I meant either way the question has been answered. Sorry.

  10. Well I don’t think the question was necessarily answered, but rather dodged by the simple response: “It doesn’t exist.”

    Also, the response talks about going to specific websites, when Ms. Kilkenny asked for all computer-related information. Big difference, in my opinion.

    But I do appreciate the politeness and rather decent debate over this issue.

  11. Maggie Milhouse says:

    Probably haven’t read enough of this blog to understand what any of that meant Santas Elf.

    Fortunatley the weather outside gave me more free time than usual to peruse the sites.

  12. Sorry about that Maggie. I blasted the comment to which you refer. I’m having trouble with small elves today…

  13. And you think these people are going to assist you in digging up or creating some dirt on themselves? I don’t think so. Your insinuative language alone would put anyone on the defensive right from the start. You’re lucky to get the obligatory acknowledgment of the initial request. Expect nothing of value from this effort.

  14. The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.

  15. J. Strupp says:

    Keep trying Cindy.

    It’s pretty obvious, by Fischer’s blogging in the last week, that he was using government time to post blogs. All you have to do is take a look at the times he has been blogging since this whole thing started and compare them with the times he posted blog entries in the past. Every one of Fischer’s recent blog times is ether in the evening, early in the morning or on a weekend. Couple that with the apparent “watering down” of his material recently and I think it’s pretty obvious that he cleaned up his act after your records request, probably at the insistance of his boss. Obviously, none of this has been proven but a little common sense goes a long way.

  16. I think Mr. Strupp had a good point there.

    Something really significant has occured on the site I still call home –

    There’s a feeling of an uneasy peace in the air over there, and it almost feels like it wouldn’t be like that if Ms. Kilkenny didn’t do what she did. And for once in my life of blogging, I feel more open to persue big topics and discuss more “hot button” issues in the future without being pounced on or belittled for my views.

  17. Linda Richter says:

    I applaud your attempts to get information from state officials, your support for government openness and transparency , and your efforts to hold a taxpayer funded government aide (and his Senator boss) accountable. After all, it’s supposed to be government of, by, and for the people. Way to go, girl! Fight the bureaucracy!

  18. Ahem, Mr. Kowalksi. Not to take anything away from Ms. Kilkenny, who has in fact done a wonderful and noble thing, let us not forget the less than little hubbub created on the left, initiated by someone of Kingly stature, so I am to understand. 🙂

  19. Sorry about that, Capper. It was unintentional.

    I think a variety of bloggers joined together to stop the madness, so-to-speak. It has been an interesting month, that’s for sure.