NYTIMES OBSCURES TRUTH: a FOIA request for a PUBLIC University Professor’s Email is standard

April 1, 2011

A conservative research group in Michigan has issued a far-reaching public records request to the labor studies departments at three public universities in the state, seeking any e-mails involving the Wisconsin labor turmoil.
William Cronon, a history professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.  The group, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, declined to explain why it was making the Freedom of Information Act request for material from professors at the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State University. But several professors who received the records request, which was first reported by Talking Points Memo on Tuesday, said it appeared to be an attempt to intimidate or embarrass professors who are sympathetic to organized labor.
This records request, which was filed Friday, comes several days after the Republican Party of Wisconsin made a records request to a prominent University of Wisconsin history professor, William Cronon, who had severely criticized the state’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, over his push for legislation to weaken public-sector unions.
The Mackinac Center, which describes itself as a nonpartisan research and educational institution and receives money from numerous conservative foundations, asked the three universities’ labor studies faculty members for any e-mails mentioning “Scott Walker,” “Madison,” “Wisconsin” or “Rachel Maddow,” the liberal talk show host on MSNBC.
Greg Scholtz, the director of academic freedom for the American Association of University Professors, said: “We think all this will have a chilling effect on academic freedom. We’ve never seen FOIA requests used like this before.”
Roland Zullo, a labor studies professor at the University of Michigan, said he found the center’s request “puzzling.” “It seems an odd request for an institution that claims to be nonpartisan,” he said.
Michael D. Jahr, the Mackinac Center’s vice president for communications, declined to discuss the records request. Ken Braun, managing editor of the center’s political newsletter, declined to give the reason for it. He said the newsletter, Michigan Capital Confidential, had made the request and often makes such public records requests.

Teacher With Long History of Depression Kills Herself

“As a general policy, we don’t discuss our FOIAs until we write about them,” Mr. Braun said. He said the records request could have been much broader but was limited to a handful of topics at just the labor studies departments, instead of also including history and political science departments.
Mr. Braun said the center’s request was in no way coordinated with the Wisconsin Republican Party’s FOIA request to Professor Cronon.
After one recent records request, the center reported that taxpayers were paying the salary of an elementary school teacher even though she was released from her teaching duties to work 100 percent on union issues.
Marick Masters, the director of labor studies at Wayne State, said he had nothing to hide. “This looks like an attempt to embarrass us,” he said. “I haven’t engaged in any partisan activities here. I think they’re probably interested in seeing the extent to which labor studies centers in the state have helped orchestrate the protests in Madison.”
Professor Cronon, who describes himself as a political independent, said he was angry about what he called an attempt at harassment. He said that he had never engaged in any nonscholarly political work on university computers or time, which is prohibited, but that he was still concerned about the release of any e-mails. The Republican Party requested e-mails mentioning several politically related words, including Mr. Walker and several legislators.
“There is an academic freedom issue here,” Mr. Cronon said.
Mark Jefferson, the executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, declined to explain why the records request was made. He criticized Professor Cronon for questioning the party’s motives. “I find this troubling,” he said. “Like anyone else filing a public records request, I don’t have to give a reason.”

Narayan Mahon for The New York Times

“YOU WILL DIE?”



“YOU WILL DIE!!!!” Read The Death Threat E-Mail Sent To Wisconsin GOP Senators [Update 4: Wisconsin Teacher Charged]

April 1, 2011

Since the MSM appears intent on downplaying the growing intimidation and escalating threats of violence around the union power issue, I am reprinting verbatim an email that was sent to Republican senators.  Remember this? Wisconsin Dem State Rep. Gordon Hintz To Republican “You are F***king dead!” Incitement to murder?
(The senders name has been redacted -Ed.)
From: XXXX
Sent: Wed 3/9/2011 9:18 PM
To: Sen.Kapanke; Sen.Darling; Sen.Cowles; Sen.Ellis; Sen.Fitzgerald; Sen.Galloway; Sen.Grothman; Sen.Harsdorf; Sen.Hopper; Sen.Kedzie; Sen.Lasee; Sen.Lazich; Sen.Leibham; Sen.Moulton; Sen.Olsen
Subject: Atten: Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!
Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes
will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain
to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it
will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit
that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for
more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.

WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in
the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me
have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and the people that
support the dictator have to die.
We have tried many other ways of dealing
with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand
for it any longer. So, this is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many
others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records.
We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a
nice little bullet in your head.
However, we decided that we wouldn’t leave
it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the
message to you since you are so “high” on Koch and have decided that you are
now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a
demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed
in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.
This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol
, and well I won’t
tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Since we know that you are
not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided
to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it’s
necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making
them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families
and themselves then We Will “get rid of” (in which I mean kill) you. Please
understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked
everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel
that it’s worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives
of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and
say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!
H/T Jonathon M. Seidl at The Blaze who adds:

WTMJ confirmed police are investigating several death threats, including the e-mail above.
Wisconsin GOP senators were told toe flee the Capitol almost immediately after their vote because police said “it was not safe.”


Update: According to this union scum @BCombs212 the death threats are no biggie; “Everyone dies

Update 2:
WisPolitics.com

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation and the Wisconsin Capitol Police have investigated numerous threats against elected officials over the last four weeks. Last evening, the DCI identified and located a subject suspected of sending at least two of those threats.
The suspect subsequently admitted to authoring and sending two e-mails threatening to kill the Governor and members of the Senate. DCI Administrator Ed Wall said “The Division of Criminal Investigation takes these kind of threats seriously and will follow through with the investigation and prosecution whenever possible.”
This investigation is still ongoing and no further information will be released pending presentation to the District Attorney in the jurisdiction of the threat origination. The Department of Justice has notified members of the Governor’s Office and Senate in regard to the recent developments in this investigation.

The following is the text of a second email sent by the suspect in question:

F— YOU ASSHOLE, I AM FORMALLY REQUESTING TO SEE THE 30,000 EMAILS YOU HAVE GOTTEN MAKING YOU COMPLY WITH THE OPEN RECORDS LAW. I ASSURE YOU THAT NONE OF THEM ARE IN SUPPORT OF YOU OR ANYTHING THAT YOU OR YOUR STAFF STAND FOR. YOUR STAFF MEMBERS HAVE NOW BEEN ADDED TO THE HIT LIST AS WELL AS THOSE OF THE OTHER SENATE MEMBERS WE HAVE THREATENED. PLEASE ADVISE THEM OF THE IMPENDING DANGER LEADING TO THIER DEATHS.

Update 3: In related death threat news, Wisconsin State  Senator Dan Kapanke received this odious threat.

I WILL HAVE YOUR DECAPITATED HEAD ON A PIKE IN THE MADISON TOWN SQUARE.

There’s more…
Update 4:

(JS Online) A 26-year-old woman was charged Thursday with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts for allegedly making email threats against Wisconsin lawmakers during the height of the battle over Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill.
Katherine R. Windels of Cross Plains was named in a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Criminal Court.
According to the criminal complaint, Windels allegedly sent an email threat to State Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) March 9. Later that evening, she allegedly sent another email to 15 Republican legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).
The subject line of the second email was: “Atten: Death Threat!!!! Bomb!!!” In that email, she purportedly wrote, “Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks.”

NYTIMES
OBSCURES TRUTH:
a FOIA request for a
PUBLIC University
Professor’s Email
is standard
and is explained
by Human Resources
A conservative
research group
in Michigan
has issued a far-reaching
public records request to the
labor studies departments
at three public universities
in the state,
seeking any e-mails
involving the Wisconsin
labor turmoil.

“I hope you have a good time in hell,” she allegedly wrote in the lengthy email in which she purportedly listed scenarios in which the legislators and their families would die, including bombings and by “putting a nice little bullet in your head.”
According to the criminal complaint, Windels told investigators “I sent out emails that I was disgusted and very upset by what they were doing.”
Asked if she intended to follow through on any of her threats, Windels told the investigators “No,” according to the complaint.
Windels was charged with two felony counts “bomb scare” and two misdemeanor counts of “computer message-threatening injury/bodily harm.” If convicted, each felony count carries a maximum penalty of three years and six months in prison and a $10,000 fine, and each misdemeanor count carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Teacher
With Long History of Depression
Kills Herself

Reportedly she is an early childhood/elementary school teacher and there is talk that her father is Madison, Wisconsin area  psychiatrist William Windels.

the context is clear


Teacher With Long History of Depression Kills Herself

March 19, 2011
what’s wrong with these people? Insensitive? Neigh!

Jeri-Lynn Betts, an early childhood teacher in the Watertown, Wisconsin, school district, died on March 8 of an apparent suicide.

A colleague says she was “very distraught” over Gov. Scott Walker’s attacks on public sector workers and public education.

“YOU WILL DIE!!!!”
Read The Death Threat
E-Mail Sent To Wisconsin
GOP Senators [Update 4:
Wisconsin Teacher Charged]

Remember this?
Wisconsin Dem State Rep.
Gordon Hintz To Republican
“You are F***king dead!

Incitement to murder?

Betts, 56, was a dedicated teacher who was admired in the Watertown community.
“She was an amazing person,” says the Rev. Terry Larson of the Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Watertown, where she was a member. “She really put her heart and soul in her work,” adds Larson, who officiated at her memorial service on March 15.
“She was one of the good guys,” says Karen Stefonek, who used to teach with Betts. “She was very, very dedicated, and worked so well with the little special needs children. She just was very, very good with them, and very well respected in the district.”

In the days after Betts’s death, two members of the school district contacted The Progressive about her death, calling it a suicide and saying it was connected, at least in part, to the policies that Walker has proposed. He has demanded that public workers, including teachers, contribute a significant amount of their salaries to health care and pensions. And in his budget, he proposed taking $900 million out of the public schools, imposing a freeze on property taxes so local governments can’t chip in more for education, and allowing any student, regardless of income, to go to a private school with a taxpayer subsidy.
“She was definitely very distraught about it,” said one of her co-workers, who requested anonymity. “She was feeling a lot of stress about the legislation that was going through.”

teachers to stalk your kids on Facebook now?

My education was dismal. I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers.
-Woody Allen….