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.


Blocking the public’s right to know about ALEC

From The Nation: In the two years since the ALEC Exposed project revealed the role that the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council plays in shaping the laws of states across the nation, the group has had a much harder time hiding its meddling.

In fact, so much national attention has been paid to ALEC’s role in promoting restrictive voter ID laws and controversial Stand Your Ground initiatives that ALEC officials announced last year that they would shut down the task force that was responsible for promoting those measures.