Van Hollen Must Immediately Release All Communications on Partisan Lawsuit

Sep 18, 2008

Time for Attorney General to Come Clean with Wisconsin Citizens,
Drop Politically-Motivated Suit Designed to Suppress the Vote

MADISON – First, JB Van Hollen’s state office refused to answer questions about whether the Attorney General spoke with the Republican Party or John McCain’s Campaign before filing a politically motivated lawsuit designed to disenfranchise voters and sway the election in favor of McCain. [Source: AP, 9/18/08]

Then the Attorney General himself claimed no one from his agency talked to any Republican Party or McCain Campaign official about the lawsuit. [Source: MJS, 9/18/08]  

Now a top GOP official says he complained to multiple state Justice officials two weeks before Van Hollen sued the state’s nonpartisan Government Accountability Board, although both he and a DOJ spokesman refused to disclose the names of those officials. [Source: MJS, 9/18/08] 

Yesterday, Van Hollen, the state Co-Chair of McCain’s Campaign, campaigned with McCain in Green Bay, while his aides refused to answer questions on his discussions with GOP officials about the lawsuit.

Today, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin called on Van Hollen to finally come clean with Wisconsin citizens and drop his blatantly partisan lawsuit. The DPW also filed an open records request with the Attorney General’s Office today, asking that Van Hollen immediately release any and all records regarding the lawsuit, including emails, letters, meetings, and phone logs, between DOJ staff and anyone outside the department. Just yesterday, Van Hollen extolled the virtues of Wisconsin’s public records laws, saying they are “an essential component of effective citizen oversight of the workings of our democratic government.” [Source: AG Van Hollen press release, 9/18/08]

“JB Van Hollen has abused his authority as Attorney General and used his state office and taxpayer resources to file a partisan lawsuit on behalf of the Republican Party,” said DPW Chair Joe Wineke.  “It is time for Van Hollen to come clean with Wisconsin citizens and immediately drop his partisan lawsuit. And if he is the champion of open records that he claims to be, Van Hollen will immediately release all communications between the DOJ and any outside groups on this matter.”

Van Hollen filed his suit last week, shortly after the Republican Party unsuccessfully complained to the non-partisan Government Accountability Board (GAB) on the same issue. The suit is without merit, as the GAB is compliant with the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act and there have been no allegations or instances of fraud or malfeasance. Van Hollen’s lawsuit seeks to seize on discrepancies such as hyphenated names or missing middle initials in different bureaucratic databases to create confusion and deny up to one million eligible Wisconsin voters of their right to vote. 

Van Hollen and Republicans are fabricating stories about widespread voter fraud in attempts to justify the baseless lawsuit. There is no voter fraud in Wisconsin as Republican U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic has already confirmed following a thorough investigation.

If Van Hollen refuses to drop his lawsuit, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin will push its motion to intervene to ensure that the votes of every eligible voter are counted on November 4.