Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:38 AM
Scuba (40,965 posts)
Wisconsin: Partisan GAB just not partisan enough for Republican legislature
The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is responsible for running clean and honest elections in Wisconsin. As part of discharging this duty, the Director - Kevin Kennedy - has outsourced pieces of our elections to Accenture (think Arthur Anderson of Enron fame) and lobbied FOR use of Diebold electronics for recording votes.
Despite these right-wing leaning actions, Republicans in the State legislature want to replace the board members with political appointees, at least now they do while they have total control of the State government.
Scott Fitzgerald: We have to destroy the GAB in order to save it
Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader-in-waiting Scott Fitzgerald has telegraphed his next bad idea: He thinks the Republican-dominated legislature ought to restructure the state's Government Accountability Board (GAB), getting rid of the relatively non-partisan and politically insulated group of Wisconsin judges that now run the state's election watchdog agency in favor of -- wait for it -- political appointees.
Yes, it's true. Fitzgerald thinks the GAB has made too many decisions that favor Democrats over Repubs. It is, by his thinking, partisan. His solution: Make it even more partisan, but way in the other direction.
Leaving aside Fitzgerald's various and dubious upsets -- for instance, the GAB rule letting same-day registrants to provide proof of residence via cell-phone images of legitimate documents -- his pontification on this matter is really, really strange.
After all, following the infamous state legislative caucus scandals of a decade ago, Republican legislators were instrumental (and unanimous) in creating the GAB -- and all but a couple of Democratic legislators at the time agreed. It sounds unbelievable given today's hyperpartisanship, but it's true: Virtually lawmaker in the state Capitol back then realized the virtue of isolating political influence away from the agency that managed state elections.
But not any more. Because, apparently, under GAB policies, there aren't enough Republicans being elected to state office, at least in Fitzgerald's mind. Ignore the virtues or logic or constitutionality of GAB policies, which don't really seem in question. None of that matters. If you're Fitzgerald, all that matters is regaining a political edge that brought both major parties in the state to ruin barely a dozen years ago. An edge you don't even need, because you've already engineered enough other edges to seize legislative power.
Fitzgerald Proposal Leaves State GABsmacked
After the caucus scandals rocked the state a decade ago, both parties came together and worked in a bipartisan fashion to create the Government Accountability Board (GAB). The GAB was created to replace the Elections and Ethics Board, which was so dysfunctional that it didn't even investigate the crimes for which five people had been convicted in a court of law.
Now, State Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R-Arkham)has decided that he doesn't like the way the GAB is working, even though he was a full supporter of it when it was created. His beef is that he thinks that it is partisan and favors the Democrats, meaning that it won't let the Republicans do whatever the hell they want to do.
His brilliant idea on how to fix his misperception is to make the non-partisan board less partisan by replacing the non-partisan judges with partisan activists.
More at the links.
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