Thu June 6, 2013
Provision On Journalism Nonprofit Receives Support, Scorn From Within GOP
Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, on the other hand, says it it's “childish” and “smacks of payback.”
The provision in question would force WCIJ to leave the University of Wisconsin campus and prohibit UW employees from working for the center. Speaking to Wisconsin Public Radio's Ideas Network this morning, Sen. Schultz said anyone who voted for it should be “ashamed”: “It smacks of the kind of tactics you would expect from Vladimir Putin or Hugo Chavez.”
Schultz was critical of several items passed on the last night of budget deliberations in the legislature's Joint Finance Committee, including one that would legalize bail bondsmen in five Wisconsin counties. Asked if he would have voted for that budget, Schultz responded:
“No I wouldn't. Because to me, Wisconsin in 2013 is best summed up by the statement: 'Bounty hunters welcome; investigative reporters, not so much.'”
During a media briefing today, Assembly Speaker Vos and Joint Finance Committee co-chair John Nygren, R-Marinette, both stood by the provision, with Vos saying his goal was to have no changes to the budget that passed the Joint Finance Committee. He would not say who asked for it, but said several GOP lawmakers had concerns with the university helping one journalism organization or another.
“We just think that the separation of church and state is one of those that we understand, and the separation of the press and the state should be one that we follow as well.”
WPR and Wisconsin Public Television are collaborating partners with WCIJ and are part of the UW System. Asked why public radio and TV should receive state funding and be allowed to operate at a university building when WCIJ is not, Rep. Nygren said public radio and TV were unique entities and that he didn't believe others were competing with them.