Should enforcement of Wisconsin’s open records and open meetings laws depend on individual citizens having to file often costly and protracted lawsuits? That is one option prescribed under these laws, and those who prevail in such cases can recover attorney’s fees. But the laws also contain provisions intended to help people resolve disputes in a cheaper and less complicated way: Citizens can ask the state attorney general or county district attorney to sue a government authority, and any person can seek advice from the attorney general. Continue Reading
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism received eight awards in the Milwaukee Press Club’s annual Awards for Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism, which were announced today. The Center now has won 25 awards from the press club, receiving eight in 2013, four in 2012 and five in 2011.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigative reporter Dave Umhoefer, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for his 2008 investigation into pension padding in Milwaukee County, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished WisconsinWatch.orgdog Award. Continue Reading
For 2013-14, the Council is bestowing six Opees to individuals and groups. Five of the awards are positive; the No Friend of Openness Award is not. Continue Reading
Apparently, many of the hundreds of open records requests being made of Walker’s county office were going to the Walker campaign for review. Clearly, these were all public records and the campaign should have had no involvement whatsoever in their review or release.
Walker and his staff felt beleaguered by the volume of records requests from political opponents, and at times expressed scorn for the requesters. But they also discussed ways to use the law to their advantage, and asserted their commitment to obeying it.
About this series
The Center’s Nora G. Hertel teamed up with Gilman Halsted of Wisconsin Public Radio on “Rethinking Sex Offenders,” a three-day series examining Wisconsin’s changing methods of dealing with sexually violent persons. Find stories, audio, photos and data at this page: Project: Rethinking Sex Offenders. Involuntary commitment for crimes not (yet) committed. The men of Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center, known as “sexually violent persons,” have a strange in-between status. They are in treatment, learning to control their impulses so they can eventually be released. Continue Reading
In January, the state of Wisconsin launched a new websitewith a searchable database that lets the public see what state government spends on goods, services and other operating costs. OpenBook Wisconsin — openbook.wi.gov — debuted with more than 25 million records for expenses including real estate transactions, building projects, maintenance, office supplies, and rents. Records for state agencies, the Legislature and the courts date back to mid-2007. The site’s records for the University of Wisconsin System start in fiscal 2013. The site, which the state plans to update every two weeks, allows searches for each fiscal year by state agency, type of expenditure or vendor. Continue Reading
Besides knowing that paying taxes is a sure thing and the deadline this year is April 17, what else do you know about Wisconsin taxes? To offer a helpful start at learning more about Wisconsin taxes, income and otherwise, Wisconsin InfoLink has compiled a number of useful tax links that can shed some light on this certain fact of life. Continue Reading
Through Jan. 1, Gov. Scott Walker received at least 19 written communications from citizens regarding the effort of Cpl. Eric Pizer to obtain a pardon so he can pursue his goal of becoming a police officer. All of these communications, mostly emails, urged the governor to grant Pizer a pardon. Continue Reading
Nominations are being sought for the 2014 Distinguished WisconsinWatch.orgdog Award, presented annually to recognize an individual’s extraordinary contributions to open government or investigative journalism in Wisconsin. Continue Reading