Peter Barca
Press Release

Republicans “Double Down” on their Assault on Open Government

“Republicans want to turn our nonpartisan government watchdog into a partisan lapdog.”

By - Jul 10th, 2015 12:06 pm

MADISON – Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) today issued the following statement on Republican legislators’ new calls to dismantle Wisconsin’s non-partisan government accountability organization:

“The Republicans are doubling down on their assault on clean, open and transparent government.

“It is deeply disturbing that a week after trying to dismantle our state’s open records laws and a day after Assembly Republicans refused to pledge not to degrade Wisconsin’s open records law in the future, Republicans are again attacking our state’s nonpartisan government oversight agency.

“Republicans want to turn our nonpartisan government watchdog into a partisan lapdog.

“This brazen attack on government oversight is especially troubling since it comes at a time when citizens and journalists are uncovering potential corruption at Gov. Walker’s economic development agency. Earlier this week Republicans voted down a Democratic budget amendment that would have taken major steps to ensure accountability and transparency at Walker’s WEDC.

“Like so much of their agenda, these proposals are not intended to improve our state – they are only intended to improve Republicans’ political fortunes and shield Gov. Walker’s administration from scrutiny as he runs for president.”

The timing of the Republicans’ attack on open government comes as Gov. Walker is reportedly planning to formally announce he is running for president on Monday. In recent years, open records requests have helped shed light on everything from potential corruption at Governor Walker’s jobs agency to criminal activity that led to the convictions of six of the governor’s former aides as county executive, as well as the revelation that major mining company donors essentially re-wrote large sections of Wisconsin’s environmental laws.

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