June 22, 2013

"FIRE Writes to Wisconsin Governor Urging Veto of Unconstitutional Budget Measure."

"On June 6, we reported on an addition to the Wisconsin State Legislature’s budget proposal that would forbid University of Wisconsin (UW) faculty from working with the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, a nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism organization. FIRE then wrote a letter to Governor Scott Walker on June 13, expressing our concern with this provision and explaining its unconstitutional effects.... FIRE has written again today to Governor Walker strongly urging him to veto this modification to the budget in order to protect the academic freedom of UW faculty. We sincerely hope that he recognizes the serious ramifications of such a limit on UW faculty and that he does not allow this measure to go into effect."

Link.

(Note: the Wisconsin Governor can veto any part of a bill.)

23 comments:

James said...

Legislature’s budget proposal that would forbid University of Wisconsin (UW) faculty from working with the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

That's an outright misstatement of the facts. No one is forbidding the Center from working with Wisconsin faculty. What the proposal does is terminate the sweetheart deal the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism gets through free office space in the School of Journalism building. I can't think of any other private entity that get that kind of deal and they should be renting office space and commercial rates just like everyone else.

Gahrie said...

Just out of curiosity, is there a list of organizations that UW faculty are banned from working with available?

James said...

Myth and Fact: WisconsinWatch.org and UW-Madison

"UW-Madison has a formal, signed agreement with the WCIJ where we exchange space in two small offices here in Vilas Hall (a 1970s concrete building which was itself partly funded by an outside gift from the estate of William Freeman Vilas) for the guarantee of regular paid investigative reporting internships for our students (starting at $10/hour), as well as the guarantee of free and ready access to the expertise of the WCIJ reporters in our courses, in our public events, and in the daily intellectual life of the School. UW-Madison faculty and staff voted in favor of this agreement, and it was approved by all necessary levels of UW-Madison administration. It is a contract, not a subsidy."

Is there any other private entity, non-profit or otherwise, that gets such deals from the University and taxpayers?

The Koch brothers are attempting to enter the media business; will they be permitted to open an office in the School of Journalism building in exchange for offering internships to students?

Lem said...

If they care so much why not meet with governor in person.

JAL said...

If what James writes is accurate, that puts a different spin on it, doesn't it. Does FIRE know this?

Maybe someone well informed should point it out to them?

Just sayn'

Mogget said...

FIRE is, I think, a valuable organization. Perhaps there is some miscommunication here.

MadisonMan said...

I think he should also veto the part that forbids oversight of Schools that receive voucher money. (Why is that in a budget anyway? It's a policy!)

The Koch brothers are attempting to enter the media business; will they be permitted to open an office in the School of Journalism building in exchange for offering internships to students?

I think they would be. Money talks.

jimbino said...

Legislature’s budget proposal that would forbid University of Wisconsin (UW) faculty from working with the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Is also written in bad English. In proper English, one says, "forbid ... to work," not "forbid ... from wroking," which is a solecism spreading out from The Volokh Consipiracy."

garage mahal said...

MadisonMan
There are 90 policy items loaded into the budget. Guess who ran on ending this practice?

MadisonMan said...

The same person who ran on bringing 250,000 jobs to the state?

garage mahal said...

Ayup.

roesch/voltaire said...

Garage and Madison man you summed up the hypocrisy of old dead eyes; the same guy who flipped flopped on appointing Josh Inglett-- in another of his petty moves.

Mark said...

But let's not let it get in the way of talking Presidential hopes, guys. Last weeks thread made that clear.

traditionalguy said...

Do failure to provide free office space and free labor now equal cutting their tongues out?

That seems medieval.

To me Freedom of Speech means neither government prohibition of speech and nor government support of selected speech.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Walker for President! Free vaginal probes!

hombre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hombre said...

Right, Igna. It's all about vaginas.

David said...

I don't know whether it's unconstitutional, but it's very bad policy. Stay out of speech regulation in all guises.

gadfly said...

So FIRE doesn't approve of the restrictions that would be imposed against WCIJ,( a nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism organization - if you believe that) but exercising the infamous "Frankenstein" veto is always OK in order to to right perceived wrongs.

FIRE calls the restriction "unconstitutional" - but a legislature can fund or defund anything or any organization that it chooses.

From the article cited by FIRE:
With Wisconsin's new budget provision, the center, which describes itself as "nonpartisan," will not lose funding. It is supported by private foundations, individuals and news organizations.

Among its numerous funders is a charity affiliated with the liberal philanthropist George Soros . . .


Governor Walker should stay out of this pissing match.

Achilles said...

Our legislatures are funding far too many things of dubious value in the university system. If it is worth funding students will choose to go there and pay tuition, and philanthropists will donate money.

Robert Shibley said...

Here's the actual text of the provision:

Center for Investigative Journalism. Prohibit the Board of Regents from permitting the Center for Investigative Journalism to occupy any facilities owned or leased by the Board of Regents. In addition, prohibit UW employees from doing any work related to the Center for Investigative Journalism as part of their duties as a UW employee.

Please note the second sentence.

Robert Shibley, FIRE

Craig Howard said...

"forbid ... from wroking,"

If ever there were a solecism...