When the public's right to know is threatened, and when the rights of free speech and free press are at risk, all of the other liberties we hold dear are endangered.
-- Christopher Dodd
One Wisconsin Now published a stunning report that showed the bulk of incentive dollars delivered by Gov. Scott Walker's quasi-private WEDC agency have gone to campaign donors of his, with supporters receiving nearly 60% of this funding despite making up 30% of the recipients.
Now, almost two months later, comes a news report in the Wisconsin State Journal that Walker's office is redacting names of companies seeking taxpayer funds from the WEDC.
On two different fronts, Walker's travel record and WEDC subsidies, his office cites a "balancing test" that weighs the public’s right to government information against the fear of disclosure. They claim this information could potentially harm the public's interest.
Point is, we're not talking about top secret national security information here. If they can apply a balancing test based on fear for that, they can apply it to all government information.
“There is a public interest in knowing who the state is meeting with over subsidies. If you want money from us, you should be willing to accept that the public has a right to know it.” -- Bill Lueders
Totally agree. I've learned to hope for the best, but always expect the worst when public officials have to make fear the excuse to justify blocking public information. In this case, the public should also fear that the 30/60 ratio presented by OWN has probably gotten even worse, since those involved see a sudden urgency to keep it hidden.
The blunt truth is very unfortunate; as long as voters keep electing people like Scott Walker to executive public office, we simply don't deserve to know.
One Wisconsin Now - Gov. Walker's WEDC Secrecy Is 'Arrogance' (Response to Wisconsin State Journal article)
Democurmudgeon - Walker's troublesome WEDC goes Dark, until after the Election!!!
Jake's Economic TA FunHouse - Walker Administration not so "Unintimidated" on WEDC, transparency