In my career as a journalist, I have encountered many public officials who respect government openness and transparency. There was the state records custodian who turned over dozens of her boss’s embarrassing emails after telling him that keeping them secret would violate the law. And the university staffers who pointed me to public information the […]
Two days before the new president’s inauguration, the Society of Professional Journalists and dozens of other media and government transparency groups sent a letter asking Donald Trump for a meeting to discuss his administration’s relationship with the press. Among other things, the groups wanted Trump to affirm his commitment to the First Amendment, assure media […]
Among the many remarkable things about the defeat of the proposed overhaul of the Wisconsin Public Records Law over the July 4 weekend last summer was the way the media, open government groups, advocacy organizations on the left and right, and the public coalesced to point out how ill-conceived the idea was.
According to Walker, it’s up to the political parties to open their caucuses, which they could do without a change in state law. He’s right on that point, and we’re still waiting.
Doesn’t the public have a right to know who came up with these ideas? This would let voters hold their elected officials accountable at the ballot box and look for potential conflicts.
It’s time once again for proponents of open government and the free flow of information to celebrate Sunshine Week. But this year, we’ll be doing it under a cloud.
On issues of government openness, Gov. Scott Walker’s record has been mixed. He is not running the most open administration in history, as he pledged in an interview late last year, but he’s certainly not in a bunker.
Next week is Sunshine Week — time to celebrate open government in Wisconsin. A guest column by Mark Pitsch, assistant city editor at the Wisconsin State Journal and a member of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.