It appears the state Assembly will take up this week the bill aimed at wreaking Republican revenge on the Government Accountability Board, replacing it with a system that doesn’t work particularly well on the federal level and hasn’t worked well in Wisconsin in the past. This attack on the nonpartisan watchdog agency that supervises state elections and conducts investigations into ethics violations reeks of payback partisanship. Under it, and other measures, legislators would like to set themselves up as the sole arbiters of transparency and accountability. That’s not how our system of government is supposed to work. It is similar to the underhanded attempt to gut the state’s open records law on the Fourth of July weekend by this same crew of legislators led by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. And it deserves the same kind of fate: an overwhelming demand from angry citizens to kill the bill.
The bill heading to an Assembly vote would do away with the accountability board and create an Elections Commission and an Ethics Commission. Each commission would have six members, split evenly between both parties, the Journal Sentinel reported last week. Backers of the measure call that balance. A better description would be deadlock.
The commissions would be similar to the old Elections Board and Ethics Board, with the significant exceptions of the partisan membership of the commissions and the fact that oversight of campaign finance issues would be given to the Ethics Commission. Why? Since such issues are related to elections, wouldn’t it make more sense to put those under the elections commission?
Actually, none of this makes much sense, except for those who see everything through a partisan lens.
Full Article: Editorial | GAB – Dismantling GAB weakens government.