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Last weekend, when we were celebrating the founding of our nation, Republicans in the Legislature were intent on destroying our open records laws. In response to some recent embarrassing revelations, the Republican-dominated budget committee passed an evisceration of one of the foundations of our form of government.

These legislators ignored the words of our Declaration of Independence. “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

This last-minute addition to the budget was a brazen attempt to shield lawmakers' outrageous actions, past and future, from becoming known to the voters. Their philosophy is to keep power by keeping the voters in the dark. This change in the law was an example because so far no one is admitting to being the author.

This attempted change to state open records law signals future extreme actions by the Legislature and the governor. It would have reduced accountability and enabled secrecy and corruption.

-- Paul Malischke, Madison

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