We don’t know what process results in a State Journal editorial. Who proposes the topics? How do they choose one topic out of hundreds, or thousands? What criteria do they use? Is importance ever considered as one of the criteria? All we see is the output dribbling by, one-a-day, six days a week. And it just leaves us puzzled.
A couple of days ago, it was a coal-fired ferry boat on Lake Michigan. Yesterday it was something they read, quite dull. There was the time they were gratified by a woman getting the top job at IBM in Armonk, New York.
The editorials are often just jarringly small.
Today is no exception. In “Secrecy hurts hiring decision” the State Journal goes to bat for the public’s right to know, criticizing the Police and Fire Commission’s secrecy over the New Years’ weekend as it chose Madison’s new fire chief. We take their point. If the PFC violated policy or law in this process, they should be criticized. But we don’t know if that’s the case. And IN THE WHOLE SCHEME OF THINGS it seems pea-shooter small. Again.
Aren’t there other — perhaps more important — matters that also involve secrecy and the public’s right to know? Why, yes there are!
Here’s one from Madison, Wisconsin! Two days ago. Look, it’s reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (emphasis ours):
Madison – In a scathing ruling, a three-judge panel decided for the third time Tuesday that a Democratic group has a right to an array of information on how Republican lawmakers drew new legislative districts.
Saying that GOP lawmakers and their attorneys have filed “frivolous” motions trying to keep their information private, the panel also required the attorneys for the Republican defendants to pay the attorneys’ fees for the plaintiffs for the motion.
“Quite frankly, the Legislature and the actions of its counsel give every appearance of flailing wildly in a desperate attempt to hide from both the court and the public the true nature of exactly what transpired in the redistricting process,” the ruling reads.
The 3-judge panel consists of one judge appointed by President Ronald Reagan, one by President Bill Clinton, and one by President George W. Bush.