Thursday, September 10, 2015

Public Forum on September 14 in Wausau to Discuss Future of Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board

For Release: Thursday - September 10, 2015

Next Monday night, Common Cause in Wisconsin is holding a free public forum at UW-Marathon County entitled: "Wisconsin Government Accountability Board: Is our nonpartisan arbiter of elections & ethics still a good fit?" The forum will run from 6:30 to 8:00 PM and will include a lengthy Q&A with the audience.

We urge citizens from Wausau and surrounding communities to attend this important event.

Governor Scott Walker, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos are planning to dismantle Wisconsin’s nonpartisan Government Accountability Board (GAB) – a watchdog agency that enjoys the confidence of the vast majority of Wisconsin citizens and the high regard of national experts on American elections.

Prior to the creation of the GAB, the discredited, hyper-partisan State Elections and State Ethics Boards failed to uncover, investigate and prosecute rampant corruption occurring under the Capitol Dome during the late 1990's. This corruption culminated in the infamous Legislative Caucus Scandal and the criminal charging of top State Senate Democratic and Assembly Republican leaders in 2002.

Both Republicans and Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature fully realized the need for a strong, nonpartisan state agency with the ability to independently investigate corruption in state government. As a result, in January 2007, establishment of the GAB was unanimously approved by a 33-0 vote in the State Senate, and by a 97-2 vote in the State Assembly.

Every Republican legislator in both chambers supported establishing the GAB.

Yet, Fitzgerald and Vos (who both voted for the GAB) are pushing to remove the agency's independence and nonpartisanship.

At Monday night's forum, panelists and audience members will explore whether this is the right course of action or not – and why.

CC/WI's Executive Director, Jay Heck will be joined on the panel by former State Representative Mandy Wright, Colleen Adams of Wisconsin Voices, Andrea Kaminski, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, and Matt Rothschild, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Nora Hertel, Reporter and Public Issues Investigator for the Wausau Daily Herald, will moderate the event.

For more details and a list of co-sponsoring organizations, go here. This event is free and you are encouraged to attend and participate!


Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703

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