Sunday, July 22, 2007

Finally! Good local journalism on UW funding

Sue Lampert Smith has a beautiful piece in today's Wisconsin State Journal on funding for UW, here. She's reacting to a particularly insane set of proposals from the Republican state assembly that not only cuts far over $100,000,000.00 from the UW System budget, but would make extremely specific cuts, like eliminating funding for the UW Law School (the only public law school in the state!), the Haven Center and the School for Workers. The proposal to cut off Law School funding was made by Frank Lasee. Word on the street is he got burned on a divorce and child support, so has it in for lawyers. That's how we make laws? That budget proposal will have no connection to eventually budget reality, it's being assumed, but it does suggest that crack addiction is rampant among Republican Assembly leaders.

Kudos to Smith for reminding folks of the crucial historical parallel behind this kind of move. It starts with this quote:
Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.
—Board of Regents, 1894
That motto of goes back to a case when a political appointee tried to fire an economist, Richard Ely, for supporting workers. Once again, goons are trying to trammel inquiry.

But you should read Smith's article. This is the kind of reporting we need today.


Anonymous said...

What gets me about Lasee, a real nutjob, is what it shows about voters: People are presumably going to vote for a guy who put such an obviously insane piece into the state budget for personal reasons. It's utterly shameful behavior.

Anonymous said...

An overdue story. If somebody's going to write that story for the WSJ, I'm not surprised that it's Susan Lampert Smith. She's generally good.