Gov. Scott Walker has called for the dissolution of Wisconsin’s nonpartisan elections and campaign finance agency, but the Government Accountability Board’s director said that’s a “short-sighted” opinion. Kevin Kennedy also said in an interview on WKOW-TV’s “Capitol City Sunday” that recent suggestions that his agency teamed with the Internal Revenue Service to investigate conservative groups were “absolutely ridiculous.” The GAB has been the target of scorn from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, who specifically has mentioned ousting Kennedy as a goal. Vos and other Republicans have been critical of the GAB’s role in the John Doe investigations into alleged campaign finance coordination between Walker’s 2012 recall campaign and an outside advocacy group.
Walker weighed in last Monday, saying he wants to eliminate the GAB and replace it with “something completely new that is truly accountable to the people of the state of Wisconsin.”
In the WKOW interview, Kennedy defended the GAB, saying its staff and board made up of six nonpartisan former judges represent an independent watchdog.
“I think most of the work we do takes place outside of all the political dramas, and it’s not unusual that the referees can make calls that the people in power don’t like,” Kennedy said.