Walker Ordered To Turn Over 'Wisconsin Idea' Rewrite Documents

A judge has ruled that Gov. Scott Walker’s administration must release most records related to proposed changes to the University of Wisconsin System’s mission statement.

Walker in 2015 proposed changing the mission statement known as the “Wisconsin Idea,” refocusing it on career readiness instead of public service and seeking a broader truth. He later backed down after a public backlash, saying it was a mistake.

The Center for Media and Democracy filed a lawsuit a year ago against Walker, saying he was illegally withholding records related to the creation of the proposal.

Dane County Circuit Judge Amy Smith ruled Friday that Walker wrongly withheld 12 email exchanges and six attachments sought by the liberal advocacy group.

The governor’s office had previously declined to release certain internal communications about the failed proposal, which would have removed the “Wisconsin Idea” from the mission statement and deleted other language. He said the documents’ release could have a chilling effect on legislative debate.

Walker’s spokesman says he will release the records later Friday.