Why Fear Open Records—unless—You have Something to Fear.

Lock and file folder, concept of Confidential Document

Today in Wisconsin, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos was questioned about his intentions to pursue an attack on open records.  Yesterday the Wisconsin State Journal published law makers’ “term papers” (I want to chair this committee because…).

Is there a connection?  I’ll let you be the judge.

Let me present Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt’s “term paper” that was submitted as evidence of qualifications for chairing the Assembly Education Committee.

Thiesfeldt1 Thiesfeldt2

That’s it!

Two pages of scribbled notes that describe minimal qualifications (private school teaching experience) and a disdain for public education in Wisconsin.  And in case you’re wondering if he got the job—stop.  Of course he did.

However, we (the public) now have full access to the qualifications or lack there of and the sometimes destructive motivations behind the entire process of appointing committee chairs.  This is a serious problem for Assembly Speaker Vos who obviously wishes to do away with such damaging transparency and fears being held accountable for appointing committee chairs that are either minimally qualified and/or hold hostile sensibilities towards the important work of legislative committees.

Is it really surprising that people are leaving Wisconsin?