Editorial: Stop blacking out public records

From Wisconsin State Journal: Gov. Scott Walker eventually got it right — after being sued.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, got it wrong and is still being challenged in court.

Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, wasn’t even close in her latest response to an open records request.

Too many elected officials in Wisconsin are blacking out information on public documents for no good reason.


Gene Policinski: John Doe cast tests press freedom

From Portage Daily Register: The First Amendment is very clear in its 45 words that it protects a “free press” along with our rights to religious freedom, free speech and the rights to assemble and petition.

But the founders, in effect, placed a responsibility on that free press in return for being the only profession named in the Bill of Rights: The news media were to be a “watchdog on government,” providing us with the facts, perspective and sometimes contrarian views that help citizens better chart the course of their government.


Editorial: John Doe records should be released

From Journal Sentinel: The secret investigation into the Milwaukee County executive’s office is over — over for more than seven months now. But thousands of Milwaukee County documents and emails that were part of the inquiry remain secret.

That simply should not be.

The Journal Sentinel is seeking these documents on behalf of the public. The county records belong to the citizens of Milwaukee County, and the citizens of Milwaukee County have a legal right to know what’s in them.


NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for October 11, 2013

From NFOIC:  A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.


U.S. Chamber applauds passage of nation’s strongest outside counsel sunshine law in Wisconsin

From Fort Mill Times: WASHINGTON — Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), issued the following statement today applauding the Wisconsin Senate for passing legislation promoting transparency and limiting contingency fees when the state attorney general, an executive branch agency, or elected officials hire outside private plaintiff attorneys to represent the state. The legislation, the Transparency in Private Attorney Contracting Act (AB 27), now heads to Governor Scott Walker for his signature.