Op-Ed: Protect your right to open government

Wisconsin’s tradition of government transparency rests on the state’s open records and open meetings laws. They declare that nearly every government document is open to public inspection, and nearly every meeting of groups formed to do governmental work must be open to the public.

Unfortunately, those laws are woefully underenforced. District attorneys and the state’s attorney general are empowered to enforce them, but rarely do so. That leaves individuals and watchful organizations to carry the load.

But too many people are unaware of their rights under the records and meetings laws. That enables government officials to put unnecessary roadblocks in their way. People are told things that aren’t true, given evasive or incomplete answers, or just ignored in hopes that they’ll go away. (Read more here…)