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Wisconsiners speak out again anti-transparency actions

September 19, 2013

Some residents across Wisconsin have voiced their disapproval of Sen. Leah Vukmir's skirting of open and transparent government laws. According to the Janesville Gazette, the senator recently told voters that she is exempt from open records law due to her position as a state lawmaker. The Center for Media and Democracy in Wisconsin has sued the senator over a refusal to turn over records related to her involvement in the American Legislative Exchange Council.

If her position is upheld, Vukmir could set a precedent for other lawmakers to avoid transparency and open government expectations and deny access to any number of records and data. The State Department of Justice has held that that Vukmir has complied with the law, but sided with complaints against another senator in the recent past over a similar issue.

For town, county and city lawmakers, this issue is no less pertinent. Embracing the ideals of transparency shows the community that its leaders care about open access to important information, and are willing to comply with the standard expected of them as government officials. These actions will help avoid issues such as those experienced on the state level in Wisconsin, while improving overall operations as a whole for local councils.