Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WI GOP seeks access to unlimited secret money, end to nonpartisan oversight

By Sandra Miller

Today, our State Assembly votes on legislation to both dismantle Wisconsin's nonpartisan Government Accountability Board (GAB), and significantly expand the corrupting influence of out-of-state, secret cash in our elections. The State Senate is expected to do the same next week.

If passed and later signed into law by Governor Walker, these two measures will most assuredly wreak havoc on democracy in Wisconsin:

Assembly Bill 388 decimates the GAB – the agency that ensures we have clean, fair elections, while enforcing our campaign finance, ethics and lobbying laws. AB 388 scraps the current GAB, replacing it with two separate commissions: one focusing on ethics, the other on elections.

And the board's nonpartisan judges? Gone!

Instead, these two agencies will each consist of six partisan, political appointments – three Republicans and three Democrats.

Hmmm... sounds like a recipe for deadlock.

Well… the GOP Leadership did say that the model for their "new and improved" GAB was the Federal Election Commission – an agency that, by its chair's own admission, is both dysfunctional and deadlocked.