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As I See It

Legislators working hard to hide their bad behavior

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They got caught breaking the law. So now they’re changing the law. That is essentially what the Wisconsin state Legislature did in order to keep their darkest secrets from the public. Our lawmakers passed a bill to create a Human Resources department for the Legislature. That seems innocuous enough, but it is really designed to shield us from their bad behavior. As part of the legislation, any disciplinary records would be sealed from the public. They passed the bill on the same day a judge ruled the Legislature violated the law when it refused to release the records of a now former state lawmaker who sexually harassed an aide. A number of media outlets sued when the Assembly refused to release the records, and a judge said the Assembly’s actions were a violation of the state open records laws. This is nothing new for the legislature which has repeatedly refused to adhere to the law. They have typically rejected requests from media outlets for records relating to sexual harassment by state lawmakers. They apparently hope creating the new Human Resources department, and rules for keeping secrets, will allow them to pass legal muster in the future. That means it will be even harder to find out when those we elect to public office are misbehaving. Voters deserve to know when our lawmakers get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, or somewhere else.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Michael Sladky

    July 2, 2021 at 9:06 am

    You don’t report anything good that republicans do or bad things that democrats do (Ron Kind for example)-so what’s the problem Robert?

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