Wisconsin has a strong tradition of openness regarding meetings and records, according to an open government advocate. Bill Lueders, President of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, says laws enacted in the 1980’s established these practices. Currently at the state capitol, he says “there are good things and bad things happening legislatively.”
Lueders praises a bill that would provide “shield” protection against whistleblowers who divulge to media, while criticizing legislation that would limit public’s online access to court records. Supporters of the bill to limit online court document access say the website is used to discriminate against potential job candidates or tenants.
President Obama campaigned on a promise of transparent government, a change from the Bush White House which many considered a culture of secrecy. Lueders says with this issue, the Obama administration is only a “marginal” improvement over past administrations.
Bill Lueders (:22)
Sunshine Week, an initiative to encourage open government and freedom of information, is March 14 to 20.