MADISON, Wis. — Republican State Senator Duey Stroebel has been among the ringleaders in state Republicans’ effort to limit the freedom to vote. This is in line with a nationwide effort, coordinated by conservative organizations, to create obstacles to the ballot box, which often target Black, brown, and young Americans. Stroebel claims his efforts are aimed at transparency, but as recently reported, his own office policy allows for deleting public records, including emails about the identity of individuals or groups he worked with on election law bills.
Emails that A Better Wisconsin Together was able to obtain pertaining to an election venue bill suggest that Stroebel does have something to hide. Senate Bill 213 (SB 213), which received a hearing on April 8th, was part of a package of bills introduced as part of Stroebel’s election disinformation crusade. The records acquired by ABWT show outside, unnamed influences on the bill, which Stroebel’s team was careful to avoid mentioning by name. In correspondence with Representative Rob Brooks, Senator Stroebel’s policy director referred obliquely to a “very solid dude” who provided the initial idea for the bill and “someone with expertise” who provided input on the bill. Indeed, ABWT only became aware of the “very solid dude” due to a records request to Representative Brooks’ office—any mention of that individual was omitted from a response to an identical records request to Senator Stroebel’s office.
A Better Wisconsin Together Communications Associate Julia Gunther commented, “As Senator Stroebel grandstands about transparency in public, his private actions reflect a contempt for Wisconsin’s Open Records Law and for the right of the public to hold their elected officials accountable. The references to outside actors raise questions about who is influencing Senator Stroebel and why they were scrubbed from the record. Wisconsinites deserve to know who these shady actors are and what impact they are having in our legislative process.”