The way Common Cause in Wisconsin executive director Jay Heck sees it, the state’s Government Accountability Board is being punished for doing what it’s supposed to do. Republicans, including Gov. Scott Walker, have called for the dissolution of Wisconsin’s nonpartisan elections and campaign finance agency, whose board voted in 2013 to authorize an investigation than ran alongside a John Doe probe into alleged campaign finance coordination between Walker’s 2012 recall campaign and an outside advocacy group. In an interview on “UpFront with Mike Gousha” that aired Sunday, Heck said claims that the GAB hasn’t done its job have proven to be unfounded through audits.
“They’ve done a great job, and I think that’s the problem,” Heck said. “The Republican leaders want to be able to control the outcome of the decisions by the GAB, and it’s part of a larger plan to do away with things like the Legislative Audit Bureau and a number of other entities, the John Doe law, so they can have more control. This is all about raw political power.”
The GAB has come under fire in recent weeks for emails that suggested a partisan bias by a former staffer.
But Heck said the GAB board is made up of three Republicans and three Democrats, and the agency was created in 2007 with the ability to initiate investigations without having to get approval from legislators.