Posted inOpinion

The ‘Opees’ in the age of COVID-19

For the 15th consecutive year, the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council is presenting its Openness in Government Awards, or Opees, recognizing outstanding achievement in the cause of transparency. Several of this years’ awards are related to the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced wholesale changes in how government officials conduct the public’s business. All are predicated on upholding the public’s right to know.

Posted inOpinion

Your Right to Know: Officials’ behavior is reckless and illegal

To keep each other safe, we’ve been asked to add barriers — distance and masks — to our face-to-face interaction. We also have videoconferencing to help overcome those barriers.

Yet to this day, Republican leaders in the state Assembly are holding meetings without requiring attendees to wear masks or offering a video option for those who don’t feel safe attending.

Posted inOpinion

Your Right to Know: Raise the bar on police transparency

The police killings of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and Breonna Taylor, among others, as well as video footage of police using excessive force in dealing with protesters, have underscored the need for changes in policing, including greater access to disciplinary records.

It is time to break down some of the barriers that prevent the public from getting a full and true picture of how police perform — sometimes laudable, sometimes not — and how government agencies respond to allegations of misconduct.