Kapanke Guilty of Public Records Violations

Sep 10, 2009

Kapanke Guilty of Public Records Violations


Wisconsin taxpayers to pay more than $38,000 in fees

for Kapanke’s illegal activities


MADISON – State Senator Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse) acknowledged his violations of state Public Records law today, putting an end to the politician’s three-month scheme to conceal and destroy evidence of illegal campaign activities. The admission, which came in a settlement agreement filed this morning in Dane County Circuit Court, asserts that Kapanke accepts full responsibility for breaking the law.


“Today’s admission proves, without a doubt, that Dan Kapanke broke the law – and the public’s trust,” said Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Kapanke concealed and destroyed public records to hide his illegal activities.”


The Dane County case began when Senator Kapanke denied public records requests pertaining to his use of taxpayer-funded staff and other state resources to illegally coordinate a series of events for his congressional campaign. In a July 30 letter, Kapanke asserted that no communications or documents relating to the events existed.


Subsequent court proceedings and subpoena filings revealed campaigning by state employees on state time with taxpayer resources, including documents and emails from the campaign events and dozens of phone calls from the Kapanke campaign. Testimony confirmed that Kapanke and his staff used personal email accounts to further conceal their illegal activities from the public eye, and that countless other documents had already been destroyed.


Wisconsin citizens have never seen such a flagrant disregard for public records law,” said Tate. “One has to question whether Kapanke is even fit to serve.”


The admission of guilt comes at a hefty price to Wisconsin taxpayers, who are left to pay more than $38,000 in legal fees and damages for Kapanke’s illegal activities. As of the settlement date, there is no indication Kapanke intends to reimburse the state.


“The taxpayers of Wisconsin should not be expected to pay the price for Dan Kapanke’s illegal activities,” said Tate. “If Dan Kapanke and his campaign have any respect for the citizens of this state, he will refund each and every dollar that has been spent to expose his violations of the law.”