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Open Government

The Disorder Nearby

All the communities in our area are struggling economically, but yet Whitewater has fared better than neighboring places. The commitment of a community to transparency inoculates against an inferior, disordered politics of the sort one sees in the nearby cities of Jefferson and Milton. Look at Jefferson (where city officials dissemble about relationships with fraudulent vendors)…

Whitewater’s Channel 990

Update 1, Tuesday morning: Channel 990 is televising properly again. Here’s my original email, and a reply from Whitewater’s city manager, Cameron Clapper.  (See also a message below from Kristin Mickelson, Whitewater’s PR & Communications Manager.) Original email: Good morning, City Manager Clapper. I hope this note finds you well, and enjoying a snow day in Whitewater.…

After the Referendum

In response to an email last night and two more today, here are some quick thoughts on the school district and Whitewater. The gist of these messages is similar: was support for the referendum a good idea, in light of district report cards, and the airing of a Shirley Temple movie (The Little Princess, Twentieth…

The Walker Cabinet Officers’ Open Letter

Four cabinet secretaries of the Walker Administration have come forward to criticize the governor, and three of them have co-written an open letter against Walker’s relentless emphasis on political gain over sound policies. One of the signatories of the letter is Paul Jadin, who was Walker’s first Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation leader. It says all…

Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison

These last several years in Wisconsin have seen a politics of corporate manipulation of public spending and a retreat from principles of open government. Businesses and business lobbying groups routinely expect public money for business projects that should be wholly private. (Scheming development gurus often refer to taxpayer money as their ‘tools,’ as though the…

Brad Schimel Brings Trumpism to the Wisconsin Department of Justice

Daniel Bice reports that Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is now demanding non-disclosure agreements from employees of the Wisconsin Department of Justice: On Aug. 10, staffers at his agency were sent an email instructing them to sign a nondisclosure agreement barring them from revealing any confidential information about their work — not just during their time in office but even after…

Public Records Request of 6.26.18 (Grocery)

Yesterday’s post addressed open government aspects of an unrecorded council meeting.  See Public Records Request of 6.26.18 (Open Government).   This post will consider a slide presentation from the unrecorded Whitewater Community Development Authority presentation of 6.19.18 on grocery store recruitment.  Embedded immediately below is that slide presentation, and a link to the 5.19.16 Perkins supermarket…

Public Records Request of 6.26.18 (Open Government)

The Whitewater Common Council agenda packet of 6.19.18 promised a “report and update on grocery store recruitment,” but that session was only partially recorded, with no video or audio record of the grocery presentation.  In response, I submitted a public records request of 6.26.18, about three topics: 1. Any audio or video recording of the…

A Bit More on Examples

I’ve written about Milton as a bad example for Whitewater, and I’ve written about Jefferson this way, too. See Sunshine Week 2018 (The Bad Example Nearby), Attack of the Dirty Dogs, and Thanks, City of Jefferson!. The Milton-related post prompted two readers to ask about my connections to that troubled school district’s politics. I’ve replied to…