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The Latest: Evers releases note Walker left for him

March 4, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on letter former Gov. Scott Walker left for his successor Gov. Tony Evers (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

Gov. Tony Evers has reversed himself and released a note left for him by outgoing Gov. Scott Walker after initially denying an open records request from The Associated Press.

Evers released the note to AP on Monday, hours after Evers was criticized by open records advocates for not providing the note under the state’s open records law. Evers’ attorney said in a denial letter to the AP that it didn’t have to be released because it was “purely personal.”

After the AP objected, Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff provided the note and said “we appreciate the public’s interest in knowing about correspondence between governors, regardless of the nature of the messages.”

In the note, Walker advises Evers to “stay connected to your friends who were your friends long before elections. They will keep your life grounded and positive.”

He also congratulates Evers and wishes him well.

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11:27 a.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is refusing to release a letter written to him by former Gov. Scott Walker just before he left office in January.

The Associated Press requested a copy of the letter under Wisconsin’s open records law. Walker revealed to the AP in a Jan. 4 interview, just three days before he left office, that he had written the letter and left it for Evers.

The AP requested the letter on Jan. 11. Evers’ assistant legal counsel responded on Friday, saying that the letter “is a purely personal message that is not subject to disclosure.”

But Wisconsin Freedom of Information president Bill Lueders (LEADERS) said Monday that response is “outrageous” and there is no such thing as a “purely personal message” from an outgoing governor to an incoming one.