Scott Walker moves to dismantle non-partisan elections board, add to awful voting rights record

What’s somehow-still-Governor Scott Walker been up to since being prematurely Trumped out of the presidential race?

Nothing good.

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Assembly Republicans plan to unveil a bill Wednesday that would split the state’s elections and ethics board into two agencies and replace the former judges who sit on it with partisan appointees.

The move comes as the conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth heads back to court to try to make public records of an investigation of the group conducted by the state Government Accountability Board. That investigation — halted in July by the state Supreme Court — has been the impetus behind the GOP effort to dismantle the accountability board.

The accountability board formed in 2008, after lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to create it in 2007. Just two lawmakers, both Democrats, dissented from the bipartisan legislation that formed the accountability board and dissolved the Elections Board and Ethics Board. Those boards had been widely criticized as ineffective.

Fueling the effort to overhaul the accountability board has been the probe of the Wisconsin Club for Growth and other conservative groups that worked with Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign in recall elections in 2011 and 2012. The accountability board assisted with the investigation, which was headed by Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm and special prosecutor Francis Schmitz. Chisholm is a Democrat and Schmitz is a Republican.

That’s right. The same state that, under Walker, passed a damn-near comprehensive list of voting restrictions is now moving to politicize the board charged with overseeing the state’s elections. And they’re doing so, in large part, because the board dared to investigate an arch-conservative lobbying group that helped Scott Walker’s political career survive long enough for him to mount a presidential bid in the first place.

No one’s even making a serious attempt to argue that this doesn’t stink to high heaven. For their part, Wisconsin Republicans are simply saying that the move is necessary because they don’t trust the non-partisan board to be non-partisan. Even if that were true, replacing it with explicitly partisan appointees is the actual opposite of a solution to that problem.

And here’s the thing: That investigation that the Club for Growth is feeling some kind of way about? It’s over! They won! The Wisconsin’s Supreme Court ruled that they had wide latitude to work with the Walker campaign, and prevented further inquiry into potential wrongdoing. The system worked exactly as state Republicans intended, and now, for good measure, they want to make sure those pesky non-partisan investigators don’t get another crack at them — or anyone else who agrees with them.

Because if there’s one thing Wisconsin needs, it’s less ethical oversight. Right.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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8 Responses to “Scott Walker moves to dismantle non-partisan elections board, add to awful voting rights record”

  1. Badgerite says:

    Not right. The GOP in this state is looking to politicize everything so as to control it. That includes changes they are proposing to the Civil Service in Wisconsin. This is just one more nail in the coffin of honest, transparent government in this state.

  2. Rachael Ridlon says:

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  3. Houndentenor says:

    Have no fear. Anyone that good at selling bullshit will always be able to find a job. On Madison Avenue perhaps. Or maybe as a financial advisor convincing hard-working people that the high-commission annuity with the lowest yield of any investment plan is actually their best plan for retirement.

  4. Indigo says:

    Rule # 1: Win the election.
    Rule # 2: If you can’t win the election, steal the election.

    So everything Walker is doing is entirely predictable if you check the handbook for right wing nuts.

  5. Buford2k11 says:

    Ah, here it is…ELECTION FRAUD….The Walker Way…He will be leading the way for the rest of the Kochtopus affiliated Red States…It is happening…just like some folks told us it would…first voter ID/voter suppression, next will be the upcoming “voter roll purges”, to put the burden of proof on the voter, and last but not least, they will find ways around the laws that protect us from fraud, and there will be a raft of old e-voting machine that “have bugs, don’t work correctly or are in need of upgrades”…bingo, President Cruz……too late for walker tho…

  6. Naja pallida says:

    Poor Frank Luntz. Without the pretense, he’s out of the job of being the GOP/Fox thesaurus for coming up with nice ways of saying mealy mouthed bullshit.

  7. MoonDragon says:

    From here on in, I propose that we refer to the Club for Growth as the Club for Cancer. Cancer represents the ultimate result when the body’s regulating system fails to control growth of tissues that eventually overwhelm the systems that support the body. Uncontrolled growth of certain cells leads to the deterioration and death of the body.

  8. Houndentenor says:

    The only thing shocking about the latest goings on in the GOP is that there’s no longer even any pretense that this isn’t based on racism, sexism and anti-gay bigotry. They used to spin things and use focus-group tested slogans to make it seem like they weren’t any of those things, but no longer. And the media is mostly so used to sucking up to their corporate masters that they don’t even bother fact-checking them or calling them out on this crap. *sigh*

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