Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Unjust and Unwarranted Attack by Fitzgerald and Vos on State Elections and Ethics Administrators

For Release: Tuesday - January 16, 2018

Vote Scheduled for January 23rd on confirmation of Mike Haas and Brian Bell

In what can only be described as a a blatant attempt to exercise raw political muscle and further undermine citizen confidence in the integrity of the administration of Wisconsin's elections, ethics and campaign finance law, State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) have "teamed up" to remove the current WI Elections Administrator Mike Haas, and WI Ethics Administrator Brian Bell.

Why are they being attacked?

Apparently the fact that Haas and Bell have the unanimous bipartisan support of the political appointees to each of their Commissions for their competence and impartiality angers Fitzgerald and Vos. They want more partisan, unbalanced conduct of elections, ethics and campaign finance law in their ongoing quest to transform Wisconsin into an utterly one-party state – with the Senate Majority Leader and the Assembly Speaker in complete control.

Two years ago, Fitzgerald and Vos masterminded the destruction of the effective, nationally-admired, scrupulously non-partisan Wisconsin Government Accountability Board that, from 2008 to 2015, served all of the the citizens of Wisconsin in a fair, effective and lawful manner – investigating corruption and crime wherever it was detected and conducting elections and administering ethics laws in a way that Wisconsinites could have confidence in, and respect for. Fitzgerald and Vos also oversaw the "carve out" (for politicians only), of an exemption from the state's 170-year-old "John Doe" investigatory process in order that political corruption could no longer be effectively investigated and prosecuted.

And Fitzgerald and Vos championed the re-write of Wisconsin's campaign finance laws in 2015, once among the best in the nation, so that they are now among the weakest and least transparent. And they legalized the corrupt practice of campaign coordination between candidates and outside, supposedly "independent" special interest groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth during elections. No state in the nation has gone as far to legitimize this type of corrupt collusion as Fitzgerald and Vos have done in Wisconsin.

And now, they are moving to remove Mike Haas and Brian Bell because these two highly competent, fair-minded and impartial civil servants were employed by the now-dissolved Government Accountability Board and are not the hyper-partisan sycophants that Fitzgerald and Vos want in place for the upcoming 2018 election season.

Fitzgerald has scheduled a vote in the Wisconsin State Senate for Tuesday, January 23rd to deny the confirmation of Haas and Bell for their current positions and to remove them.

Wisconsin citizens need to rise up and defeat this insidious partisan power grab and demand that their State Senators vote against Fitzgerald and for the confirmation of Mike Haas and Brian Bell as Administrators of the Wisconsin Elections and Wisconsin Ethics Commissions, respectively.

CC/WI will join other reformers in a press conference in the Capitol on Wednesday, January 17th on this critical matter.

But the time for you to act is now.

To contact your State Senator, go here. If you are not sure who your State Senator is, go here.

Also, contact both Scott Fitzgerald and Robin Vos and tell them to lay off trying to muscle Mike Haas and Brian Bell out of their jobs.

Read this recent guest opinion editorial from CC/WI and the League of Women Voters of WI about this critical issue.

Read this letter from state good government groups, including CC/WI, to Fitzgerald, Vos and Wisconsin State Senators about this issue.

Read this powerful Wisconsin State Journal editorial against Fitzgerald and Vos's power grab.

Then, when you have taken this action, contact five or ten friends and family members and tell them to do the same! Please share this message widely.

Let's make sure Fitzgerald and Vos know we are mad as hell and we aren't going to "take it" anymore.

Never give in.

On Wisconsin. Forward!


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

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

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Begin the New Year by Making Sure You're Ready to Vote in 2018

For Release: Thursday - January 4, 2018

The next opportunity to vote in Wisconsin is approaching very soon.

Wisconsin's Spring Primary is on February 20, 2018 – followed by the Spring Election on April 3, 2018. In less than two months, we will determine which two candidates will run for the critical State Supreme Court seat being vacated by retiring conservative, Justice Michael Gableman.

For more information on the State Supreme Court primary election candidates, go here.

In addition, voters will choose two Court of Appeals judges and Circuit Court judges in counties across the state.

The integrity of our state's judicial system is at stake. Mark your calendar with these two important dates. Now is the time to prepare to vote so you're not scrambling later.

Start by confirming that you're registered to vote at your current address.

Visit the "My Voter Info" page at MyVoteWI.gov, and enter your name and date of birth to check your voter registration status. You need to have lived at your current address for at least 10 days prior to Election Day in order to register to vote in that election district or ward.

If you're not already registered, there are several ways you can register to vote:

Online. Eligible voters in Wisconsin who have a valid Wisconsin driver license or a Wisconsin DMV-issued ID can now register online at MyVote.WI.gov up to 20 days before the election in which they are planning to vote.

By Mail. You can start your voter registration form online at MyVote.WI.gov – then print, sign and mail it to your municipal clerk along with a Proof Of Residence (POR) document. Your form and POR must be received no later than 20 days before the election in which you are planning to vote.

In your Municipal Clerk’s Office.
You can register in-person in your municipal clerk’s office up until the 5pm (or close of business) on the Friday before the election in which you are planning to vote. You'll need to bring a proof of residence document to complete your registration (this document can be shown electronically).

At the Polls on Election Day.
If you're unable to register by any of the methods above, you can still register at your polling place on Election Day. You will need to present a proof of residence document when registering (again, this document can be shown electronically). If your driver’s license or state ID card has your current address, that’s all you need.

Examples of proof of residence documents are here.

Save time and hassle. Register to vote now.

When you vote, you will need to present one of the acceptable forms of photo ID for voting pictured left.

(Click to enlarge image)

For more information about voter photo ID – and how to get a free ID if you don't have an ID acceptable for voting – see our downloadable voter ID fact sheet. Or visit the Wisconsin Election Commission's voter photo ID website: Bring It to the Ballot.

If you do not have an acceptable ID for voting and need help getting one, contact this statewide Voter ID Hotline #: 608/285-2141.

Are you (or do you know) a college student voting in Wisconsin?

Here are "Three Things College Students Need to Do To Vote in Wisconsin"

Make sure you participate in these elections. Remember, every election has consequences.

Updated 4:27 PM, 1-5-2018.


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

Sandra Miller
Director of Information Services & Outreach

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

Want Good Government?
Join Common Cause in Wisconsin!