Gannett Media has spent 7 months formally requesting, paying for, and in some cases manually entering information into online searchable databases so that you can see what most public employees in the State of Wisconsin made in the latest available fiscal year. Excluded from the results: those who made less than $25,000 in that time period.
From their site,
“The listing includes state, federal and U.S. Postal Service employees, as well as those who work in Wisconsin’s 72 counties; 91 cities, towns or villages with a population of 10,000 or more; 26 University of Wisconsin campuses; 16 technical colleges and 424 public school districts.”
Here’s the editor explaining the project:
According to that same site, this is a 6-part series with the public accessing the data in stages.
“What We Pay: Timeline
♦ Sunday, Jan. 6: University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin Technical College System
♦ Sunday, Jan. 13: Public school districts
♦ Sunday, Jan. 20: State of Wisconsin
♦ Monday, Jan. 21: Federal and USPS
♦ Sunday, Jan. 27: Cities, towns, villages (populations over 10,000)
♦ Sunday, Feb. 3: Counties”
A couple of thoughts:
*In the context of what Wisconsin has experienced, this is not a non-partisan activity. This action stokes the fires of division set ablaze by Scott Walker when he “dropped the bomb” in February of 2011.
*This is not what these public workers signed up for when they took their jobs. In some cases there will be individuals who are hoping to not be discovered by an abusive former partner or spouse.
*Who’s sponsoring this: When I called up this special project’s link, the most prominant ad I saw on the site was for Hobby Lobby – a rabidly right wing company that has proclaimed itself free from a need to comply with the Affordable Healthcare Act as passed by congress and signed by the Obama administration and approved by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Ads for the following companies also show in the same space on Gannett’s database site as I refreshed the screen this afternoon:
FOX World Travel
Village Realty and Development
*This is the same company that published the names of 25 Gannett Wisconsin Media journalists and nine Appleton Post-Crescent journalists who signed Walker’s recall papers after they ferreted out their names from a database put together
by a right wing group by the state’s Government Accountability Board. See more at the March 24th story by Appleton Wonk, Should Journalists Sign Recall Petitions?
Ironically – or fittingly – Gannett is already in hot water for publishing the names and addresses of gun owners in New York State. Critics are saying that THAT release of information to the public endangers current and retired law enforcement officers and makes it easy for burglars to locate guns to steal.
IF you’re unhappy with the Gannett corporation, allow me to inform you of the other organizations that it has collaborated with – possibly still is collaborating with.
The Gannett organization in the form of the Green Bay Press-Gazette and The Post-Crescent of Appleton partnered with the following organizations to provide what they called “personal news stories” on Wisconsin politics with a “We the People Wisconsin” series: WFRV,
Channel 5, in Green Bay;
the Wisconsin State Journal;
WISC, Channel 3, in Madison;
Wood Communications and
the La Crosse Tribune;
WKBT, Channel 8, in La Crosse;
and the Chippewa Herald