Should we cheer or boo when outspoken professors at state universities become the target of public records demands filed by antagonists seeking their emails and correspondence? As we had occasion to note during the Douglas Laycock controversy in May and June, there’s plenty of inconsistency on this question on both left and right. Some who cheer FOIA requests when aimed at scholars supportive of the environmental and labor movements, for example, later deplore them as harassment when the tables are turned, and vice versa.
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The head of the state Assembly’s colleges committee said Monday he won’t allow the panel to vote on a bill that would largely keep University of Wisconsin System research activities secret, defusing a looming fight between the system and open government advocates.
Rep. Mike Kuglitsch, R-New Berlin, introduced a bill last week that would exempt all materials tied to any commercial, scientific or technical research from the state’s open records law before the research is published.
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