My blog is typically used to write about social media and Internet-related topics, but given the actions of the Wisconsin GOP and Governor Scott Walker to gut WI open records laws. I felt that I needed to speak up. The letter below is the one that I sent to the twelve GOP legislators, both representatives and senators, who took this action last week only to see the public outcry from the right, center and left force them to retreat (at least as part of the budget process) from their ill-advised policy proposal.
Dear Wisconsin Legislators,
Kudos for tabling your disastrous Motion #999 bill, a number that with little imagination was one suspiciously close to 666, I might add. However, the sentiments expressed below in this letter I was drafting to you yesterday still stand.
As Joseph Nye Welch so eloquently stated in the now infamous Army-McCarthy hearings “ You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency…” The same can be said for your politically cowardly and expeditious desire to remove transparency in government with your recent last minute “budget” ploy. I can only think that your motivation is to use the power of Wisconsin’s government to squelch outside investigations of your own shady back alley dealings and to protect Scott Walker as he continues his disastrous quest for the Presidency.
You and your party appear to have a desire to destroy everything that has made this state a great place to live, to learn, to work, to play and to do business. This motion caps the disastrous decisions and political shenanigans evidenced in the financial cuts and policy decisions that your party has set in place as part of the budget process. In the case of this attack on transparency, I was pleased to see that the Wisconsin Attorney General, Wisconsin Newspaper Association and the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council have been joined by your ideological thinkers at the John K MacIver Institute for Public Policy and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty to lambast your unwillingness to be open with the Wisconsin public.
The editors at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel got it right when they attacked you in their recent editorial:
“Any representative who votes to approve a budget containing such broad limits on the public’s right to know is not fit to hold office.”
I can only hope that you continue to listen to the media, to the people of our great state, to the Attorney General and to your ideological soul mates on the right and eliminate this proposal from further consideration whether in or outside of budget considerations.