The Republican Party of Wisconsin is seeking, under the state’s open-records law, to obtain e-mail sent by a Madison professor who has publicly criticized that state’s Republican governor, a move the professor is denouncing as an assault on his academic freedom.
Officials at the University of Wisconsin at Madison received the records request on March 17, two days after the professor, William Cronon, published a blog post examining the role conservative advocacy groups have played in formulating legislation recently proposed by Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers. The most prominent of the legislation, a bill to strip University of Wisconsin and other public employees of their collective-bargaining rights, was passed after a bitter debate that featured huge rallies at the State Capitol and demands for the recall of lawmakers on both sides of the issue.
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