Monday, March 16, 2015

Wisconsin needs Sunshine Week(s)

This is the first day of Sunshine Week 2015, when media focus on open government.

Wisconsin needs a healthy dose of open governance and media which make it a year-round priority.

I agree with Ernie Franzen at the Journal Sentinel that today would be a good day for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to affirm that it will hold open sessions on John Doe matters as April hearings approach.

Some other ideas:

*  Media in Wisconsin should demand that Scott Walker hold a news conference and disclose, as is allowed, the substance of his interview by Doe prosecutors. National media should do the same.

In fact, there are numerous questions that national media should be asking Walker if there is to be sunshine on the Walker campaign and his history.

*  Media should strongly pressure the Legislature to remove Walker's surprise rewrites of the UW system structure and Natural Resources Board mission for stand-alone, calm and comprehensive hearings scheduled at the public's convenience.

*  Similarly, Walker's unanticipated suspension for 13 years of the bi-partisan statewide land stewardship fund named for Governors Nelson and Knowles should be deleted as a budget line and given separate consideration.

Bruce Murphy at Urban Milwaukee has it right - - and it's a perfect summary of how much sunshine is lacking in Wisconsin:

The Quick-Law Governor

Countless sweeping changes have been proposed almost overnight, with no study, no rationale and no known author.

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