An open letter to the Wisconsin media

By Jeri Bonavia WAVE - Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort <wave@WaveEdFund.org>

The recent “Open Government” scandal didn’t just reveal the dangers of letting lawmakers operate in secret. It showed how skilled and effective the media can be at exposing these backroom deals and protecting the public interest.

It’s high time they apply that same fierce energy, journalistic zeal and unflinching courage to exposing the secret shenanigans that produce dangerous gun laws here in Wisconsin.

And if this scandal proved anything, it’s that our voices have power — so I’m asking you to raise yours.

Read my Open Letter to the Wisconsin Media and add your name to demand they apply the same hard-hitting investigative journalism to help break the gun lobby’s grip on our gun laws.

Here’s what the media isn’t telling you about the “secret cabal of Republicans” [1] who tried to “hide their secret deals and special favors” [2] in “an outright assault on open government” [3] “when they thought you weren’t looking — and that reporters weren’t looking” [4]: This sort of backroom deal-making happens constantly in Madison.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by legislators, off the record, that a popular, commonsense gun bill was dead in the water because a corporate gun lobbyist got wind of it.

Or, even worse, that a reckless NRA-backed law that no one asked for was on the fast track to passage — thanks to off-the-books lobbyist pressure.

It’s not often that these unconscionable abuses of power make headlines, and that’s exactly how the gun lobby likes it. The media has both the ability and responsibility to change this.

Sign my open letter and call on every news outlet in Wisconsin to start doing their job and hold lawmakers to account when they collude with gun lobbyists in secret.

The Green Bay Press Gazette said the recent assault on open government represents “the worst impulses of tyrannical leadership” [3]. It’s past time our press showed equal outrage over the gun lobby’s continued back-room influence on our public safety laws.

Let’s get loud.

[1] http://www.beloitdailynews.com/news/frontal-assault-on-your-rights/article_3e1195cc-21c8-11e5-b6e9-4350a085ae77.html

[2] http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/a-declaration-of-secrecy-that-runs-counter-to-american-values-b99531765z1-311591891.html

[3] http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/opinion/editorials/2015/07/03/wisconsin-open-records-rollback/29687439/

[4] http://www.postcrescent.com/story/opinion/2015/07/07/fight-open-records/29813555/

Sign the letter here.

Back to top
Back to Front Page

Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on July 23, 2015

Legal Information |  Designed and built by Emergency Digital. | Hosted by Steadfast Networks