Email date: 1/31/14
In this update:
1. Court allows probe into possible election wrongdoing to proceed
2. The state of the truth
3. Should the attorney general decide the fate of land sales to foreigners?
4. Many blank pages in state’s ‘open book’
Court allows probe into possible election wrongdoing to proceed
A state appeals court has rejected motions to end a five-county John Doe investigation that appears to be focused on campaign finances and possible illegal coordination between interest groups and candidates in Wisconsin recall elections.
The state of the truth
President Barack Obama said this week that the state of the union is “strong,” which is what every president says. Governor Scott Walker said last week that the state of our state is “strong,” which is what every governor says. Maybe this is why television ratings for such performances are on the decline.
In truth, the state of the union and the state is unequal, both politically and economically. Far too much political power is concentrated in too few hands, and far too much income and wealth are concentrated in too few hands. These two phenomena are joined at the hip. Each causes the other.
Should the attorney general decide the fate of land sales to foreigners?
It sure looks like J.B. Van Hollen has a conflict of interest on this matter.
Many blank pages in state’s ‘open book’
Wisconsin’s new OpenBook website showing detailed accounting of state spending is the subject of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council’s latest “Your Right to Know” column, written by Democracy Campaign research director Michael Buelow.
OpenBook shows a great deal about things people will find meaningless and next to nothing that would enable taxpayers to judge whether their money is being well spent. There’s an avalanche of data that overwhelms visitors to the site with minutiae about state procurement and purchasing, but there’s little or no explanation of what purpose all these transactions served. We also noticed that many transactions show up in the wrong fiscal year.