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Transparency when it comes to public business doesn’t appear to be in vogue anymore.

This past week in Wisconsin:

Sweeping secrecy is big mistake

July 03, 2015 10:31 am

Republicans are supposed to be suspicious of big government.

Instead, the GOP leaders who run the Legislature’s budget committee want citizens to trust state government with sweeping secrecy.

No thank you.

The full Legislature should reject the Joint Finance Committee’s sneaky attempt Thursday night to exempt state lawmakers from Wisconsin’s open records laws….


….Aren’t Republicans supposed to favor responsibility? Apparently, Wisconsin Republicans do not.

Among several troubling passages inserted into the state budget Thursday night is this doozy: “No provision of the state’s public records law that conflicts with a rule or policy of the Senate or Assembly or joint rule or policy of the Legislature applies to a record that is subject to such rule or policy.”

In other words, state lawmakers do what they want, when they want – and taxpayers will be in the dark….


Meanwhile, in Missouri:

Missouri judge dismisses lawsuit over open Senate committee meetings

Lawsuit claimed lawmakers must allow filming of meetings

5:52 PM CDT Jun 30, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -A Missouri judge dismissed Tuesday an advocacy group’s lawsuit that challenged restrictions on filming Missouri Senate committee meetings.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem dismissed the petition brought by Progress Missouri, which claimed decisions by Senate committee chairmen to prohibit filming by the group violates the state’s open meetings law. The liberal advocacy group also said the prohibition infringes on its freedom of speech and association.

The state’s Sunshine Law allows public bodies to establish guidelines on recording to minimize disruption, but the lawsuit said Progress Missouri’s filming wouldn’t have been disruptive. Senate rules state that cameras may be allowed with the permission of the committee chairman “as long as they do not prove disruptive to the decorum of the committee….”


Sunshine ain’t bustin’ out all over.

The stalwart courage of old media in Missouri is inspiring:

Jason Hancock ‏@J_Hancock

Progress Missouri challenges state Senate on Sunshine Law (via @krcg13) [….] 4:19 PM – 23 Jun 2015

We asked:

Michael Bersin ‏@MBersin

@J_Hancock @KRCG13 So, KRCG was denied permission to film a Senate hearing in the past and they’re not a party to the lawsuit? Why not? 4:31 PM – 23 Jun 2015

Interestingly, there was no response.


Because asking politely for people to comply with the law always seems to work out so well (April 15, 2015)

On the wrong side of history and technology (April 20, 2015)