Friday, December 12, 2014

WI Republicans will go all-Benghazi to kill the GAB

It's well known in Wisconsin political and bureaucratic circles that if you send in the auditors, imperfections will be found.

It's like bringing in a crew of inspectors before you put your house on the market. Somewhere on the property there will be something broke, or never installed or maintained properly that doesn't meet every comma and sub-clause in a code, so repairs will be ordered.

Look at how an examination by state auditors unearthed legal and financial flaws involving the management of many millions of dollars in untraceable state loans and misallocated grants at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, WEDC.

Those were major and costly problems - - to which Republicans controlling state government responded with some fixes but didn't demand the agency's demolition - - in fact, the WEDC is still wracked by serial top-level resignations and a failed jobs-creating performance - - because Scott Walker created the WEDC, and chairs it.

But now an audit has found some issues at the somewhat independent Government Accountability Board - - the Republicans' favorite punching bag because they do not control it - - so the partisan assault has begun.

And we know where it is going because chief legislative GAB critic and Scott Walker errand boy Robin Vos, also known as the Assembly Speaker, had already found the GAB guilty and called for the firing of its civil service Executive Director Kevin Kennedy.

By those standards, WI DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp should have been fired and the agency restructured to serve true public interests - - har! - - over four years of failing to enforce clean air standards, as new legal filings show.

Vos, Walker, and fellow GAB-hater State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - - still smarting over a successful 2012 recall election he had to endure that was authorized by the GAB because enough of Fitzgerald's constituents legally petitioned for it - - will now use the auditors' report as the 'evidence' needed to fire Kennedy (probably through a position and salary deletion).

Vos and his lieutenants will be as ubiquitous on righty talk radio the next few weeks as Christmas music and last-minute deals on big-screen TV's.

The goal: demonize, then'recreate' the GAB, which performs both elections and ethics-in-government oversight, into a GOP-controlled rubber stamp that never again will participate with prosecutors in John Doe probes that have shed light on shady, conservative fund-raising and other manipulations.

It's the same thing that's happening over the Republicans distaste for the brilliant and nationally-recognized legal scholar Shirley Abrahamson. She is also the liberal Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice who serves as Chief Justice because she has won more statewide elections to the court than any of her colleagues.

The GOP solution: rewrite the State Constitution and/or state law to either dismiss Abrahamson from the bench because they think, at 80, she's too old - - a very under-covered story - - or eliminate seniority as the Wisconsin method of selecting a Chief Justice to enable the current conservative majority on the court put thetr by big corporate donors to anoint one of their own.

Instant promotion. Meet Chief Justice David Prosser, or Mike Gableman, or Annette Ziegler, or Patience Roggensack, perhaps?

Either way, the GOP and its machinery will use their current power to change any rule that conservatives believe obstructs their partisan agenda and quest for permanent rule here.

By the time Vos, Walker & Co. are done, the GAB will have "accountability" dug out and discarded former than just the agency title.

Its bi-partisan/non-partisan governance in the public interest will disappear so that the powerful outside conservative funders and organizations which are using our state as a right-wing policy and candidate-training lab can have even more tools and cover to recast Wisconsin as red state.


Anonymous said...

They were all voted in, vos,darling,fitgeralds,walker.

scary isn't it.

the people deserve what they get.

I am tired of sticking up for their stupidity.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

So they'll start by demanding that all campaign finance violations be investigated, with fines strengthened to put real teeth into these regulations, right? That's one of the biggest findings in the audit.

Oh wait, that's not what they want at all, is it? Pathetic crooks.

Anonymous said...

It's time we all stand for the GAB as it represents the last vestige of democracy left in Wisconsin to combat the one party before people rule that now exists. This is absolutely unacceptable to replace the GAB with a partisan appointed board who will obviously do the bidding of those who appointed them. This is just more of the backwards government that the 3 stooges want to bring to Wisconsin. If they are successful with this move we will have advanced to a EEEE rated state. Walker, Vos and Fitzgerald will have stomped to death; the economy. education the environment and elections!!!!!!!