Sunday, December 21, 2014

Strong call to support the GAB

A very strong essay on the Journal Sentinel Sunday op-ed page by Andrea Kaminski of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin in support of retaining the non-partisan structure  of the Wisconsin Government Accountability is definitely worth a read.

Kaminski, the Executive Director of a mainstream group dedicated to honest government and fair elections, knows the history of the GAB and can spot a power play against the public interest when she sees it:

One of the best innovations in Wisconsin government was the creation of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board. Launched it 2008, it was formed by a virtually unanimous, bipartisan vote in the Legislature. The GAB was crafted in response to the caucus scandal which sent legislative leaders from both political parties to jail for campaigning on the taxpayers' dime...
We suspect the current calls for deform of the GAB are simply a partisan power grab at a time when one party has the majority needed to defang the agency's watchdog function and craft an elections agency that can be easily manipulated for partisan gain. In times of one-party rule, regardless of which party is in the majority, we need the GAB more than ever.
The campaign against the GAB - - basically a campaign despite the facts to return to the bad old days of slipperier campaigning and legislating - - is the brain child of a current partisan leader,  GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

It would be like a prominent doctor coming forward to urge cigarette smokers who'd quit to light up again.

As a younger man, Vos had worked in the office of former GOP State Rep. Bonnie Ladwig, one of the legislators who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor ethics violation in the caucus scandal referenced by Kaminski that led to the creation of the GAB.

Ladwig was forced to resign from the Assembly; Vos was elected to fill, and still holds that seat.

If any legislator should understand why the GAB was founded and needs to be protected, not defanged, it's Vos.


Jake formerly of the LP said...

All Robbin' Vos learned is "don't get caught, and if you do get caught, make sure you have your buddies be able to bail you out."

To carry out this strategy, he then claims the GAB is biased when something doesn't go his way, and rig its board to make sure it's toothless and can't make him pay for cheating. Problem solved!

Anonymous said...

Vos is all puffed up with the election results and figures he can attack whom ever he chooses. It will be interesting to see if all his sheep follow him over the cliff on this one. To blatantly seek a partisan watchdog of ethics and elections is in essence saying it's okay to be caught with your pants around your ankles as long as your friends approve.

Anonymous said...

My money is on the GAB to win this one.