End run around the Open Records law

Ooooh, sneaky.

I’ve heard of contracts with language that would seem to prohibit the contents of the contract from being subject to FOIA laws, but I’m still sad to hear about them circulating through the Wisconsin government.

It seems fairly obvious to me that you can’t put wording into a contract that would break any other law (for example, ‘by the terms of this contract between the Parking Enforcement Division of Madison and XYZ Towing, XYZ Towing gets to keep any cars they find parked on the wrong side of the street’*), so why would union contractors and the city think that they can break the Open Records law? As the Journal Times puts it:

Workers and citizens could lose fundamental rights and protections based solely on negotiations. That’s twaddle.

ADDED: A similar issue is raising it’s head in California.

ADDED AGAIN: More about the bill in California from PolitickerCA.

*Totally made up example (in case it wasn’t obvious!).

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