The courts are clear. The law is clear. The refusals must stop. The public has a right to know about public employee records.
Your Right to Know
Your Right to Know is a monthly column distributed by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, a group dedicated to open government.
Those in power rarely give it up willingly. What’s needed is a loud and unified public demanding that lawmakers’ records be kept safe and available upon request.
In his first two years, after Republicans took over the governor’s office and both houses of the Legislature, one out of every four bills was introduced and passed in less than two months,
Secrecy in government, compounded by court-ordered secrecy, gives rise to speculation and rumor. That never serves the public interest.
The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council surveyed candidates to gauge support for initiatives to require more openness by public officials.
In Wisconsin’s fall elections, fidelity to open government has come up in several races, for governor, attorney general and U.S. Senate.
The bottom line is that the finalists law exists for a reason: the public interest in key hiring decisions. Yet it’s a law that is routinely disregarded. The public deserves better.
Don’t shut down access to court records By Mark Belling A few weeks back, while looking into a court case in Waukesha County, I went to the court’s website seeking contact information. There were a few phone numbers but no email addresses. So I called one of the numbers and asked for the judge’s email …
Taken together, these cases provide a disturbing reminder that the public’s right to know is under constant attack—and that defending it requires constant vigilance.
If you want records in electronic form, ask for them that way. And that’s how responsible officials will provide them – with or without the intervention of the courts.