Press Release

CMD Pushes Back Against Attorney General’s Attack on Open Records in ALEC Lawsuit


CONTACT: Brendan Fischer,

MADISON -- On October 1, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed a brief countering claims by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Senator Leah Vukmir that legislators cannot be held accountable for violating the open records law during their entire term in office. The government's position is not supported by a careful analysis of the Wisconsin Constitution and its historical context. It is also a rash reversal of how the Attorney General's office has always construed the limits of legislative privilege.

Texas Attorney General Rebuffs ALEC's Effort to Declare Itself Immune from Open Records Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2013

CONTACT: Brendan Fischer,

MADISON -- Texas Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has issued an Open Records Letter Ruling rejecting an effort by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to declare itself immune from the state's public records law, after the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas filed briefs in the matter.

CMD Launches to "Expose the Private Companies Behind the Corporate Takeover of Public Services"

CONTACT: Rebekah Wilce,

- Center for Media and Democracy site will feature corporate profiles, local privatization deals gone bad, and "fine print follies" spotlighting outrageous contract giveaways

- New video accompanies launch, from Pulitzer-winner Mark Fiore, illustrating the corporate take over of schools, prisons, water, and other vital services

CMD Responds to Senator Vukmir's Claim about Open Records

CONTACT: Brendan Fischer,

The following is the Center for Media and Democracy's response to Senator Leah Vukmir's statement regarding CMD's public records case and her claim that she has "fully complied" with CMD's public records request. The following can be attributed to CMD General Counsel Brendan Fischer:

Wisconsin Attorney General Seeks to Vitiate Open Records Law to Protect ALEC’s National Treasurer

CONTACT: Alex Oberley, 608-260-9713,

Madison -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has taken the unprecedented step of asserting that a state legislator cannot be held accountable for refusing to disclose public records in response to a lawful open records request by the Center for Media and Democracy.

CMD Fights Back Against ALEC's Effort to Evade Open Records Law in Texas

  • Topics: ALEC Exposed
  • For First Time, ALEC Is Formally Requesting Open Records Immunity

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 15, 2013

    The Center for Media and Democracy filed a letter with the Texas Attorney General on Thursday refuting efforts by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to declare itself immune from the state's open records law. Texas is the first known state where ALEC has formally asked an Attorney General for an exemption from sunshine-in-government laws, and it marks a new low in the organization's attempts to advance its legislative agenda in secret and avoid public accountability for facilitating special interest influence.

    ALEC at 40: Turning Back the Clock on Prosperity and Progress

    New Report Identifies 466 ALEC Bills in 2013 That Reflect Corporate Agenda

    For Immediate Release: August 8, 2013

    Today, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released a new report: "ALEC at 40: Turning Back the Clock on Prosperity and Progress." The report identifies and analyzes 466 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) bills introduced in 2013.

    Groups Charge ALEC with Tax Fraud over Secretive "Scholarship" Fund that Finances Junkets for State Lawmakers

  • Topics: ALEC Exposed
  • As Legislators Converge on Chicago, Watchdogs Urge Full Disclosure of Travel Slush Fund Spending and Tough Enforcement of State Gift Laws

    For Immediate Release: August 5, 2013
    Contact: Harriet Rowan,

    The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is running a secretive, multi-million dollar slush fund that finances lavish trips for state legislators and has misled the Internal Revenue Service about the fund's activity, two government watchdog groups charged today.

    CMD Files Open Records Suit Against ALEC Board Member Sen. Leah Vukmir

    ALEC Asserting Immunity From State Freedom of Information Laws


    CONTACT: Brendan Fischer,

    MADISON -- The Center for Media and Democracy filed suit Thursday against Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir, a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the treasurer of ALEC's national board, over her failure to disclose ALEC-related materials under Wisconsin's public records law -- possibly because ALEC told her to keep the documents secret.

    Dissent or Terror: New Report Details How Counter Terrorism Apparatus Was Used to Monitor Occupy Movement Nationwide

    MADISON, WI -- DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy today released the results of a year-long investigation: "Dissent or Terror: How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, In Partnership With Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street."

    The report, a distillation of thousands of pages of records obtained from counter terrorism/law enforcement agencies, details how state/regional "fusion center" personnel monitored the Occupy Wall Street movement over the course of 2011 and 2012. Personnel engaged in this activity at fusion centers include employees of municipal, county and federal counter terrorism/homeland security entities. Such entities include local police departments, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (including U.S. DHS components such as the Transportation Security Administration).

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