The state’s Government Accountability Board is being targeted by the top leaders of the Assembly and Senate. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Burlington, has said the board is “dysfunctional, unresponsive and totally undemocratic” and Executive Director Kevin Kennedy is an “embarrassment.” Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, has said of the board, “I just don’t think they’re an independent voice at all.” Both Vos and Fitzgerald said they want the Legislature to make changes to the GAB. And both said they’d consider returning to having the board members appointed by political parties. “If we can create a system that has partisan makeup where decisions can be made, of course I’m open to that,” Vos said. Fitzgerald said a partisan-appointed board “seems to strike more of a balance than what we’re up against now.”
So when the state’s Legislative Audit Bureau, a nonpartisan agency, came out with a report that said the GAB had a number of problems in fulfilling its duties, Vos and Fitzgerald latched on to it as another reason to reconfigure the board.
Yes, there are problems brought up by the audit that the GAB needs to correct. But, no, the problems have nothing to do with how its board members are appointed.
The Government Accountability Board needs to keep the independence it has. It’s the only way to prevent returning to the old system of, essentially, legislators overseeing each other, which predictably failed, unless you’re a legislator.
Full Article: Editorial: Keep GAB nonpartisan.