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WISPIRG: Wisconsin Needs the GAB
MADISON, WI - State legislators today introduced a bill that would dismantle the Government Accountability Board, the state’s non-partisan elections and ethics watchdog. The GAB was established eight years ago with near unanimous bipartisan support following the Caucus Scandal, a state ethics scandal that sent several legislative leaders from both parties to prison on felony charges.
The GAB is widely regarded as a national model for effective elections and ethics oversight, thanks in no small part to its impartial makeup and member selection process; its crucial independent funding stream that does not require legislative approval; and its combined mandate to investigate both government ethics and state election violations.
The bill introduced today would destroy each of these key features, with devastating results for good government and democracy in Wisconsin.
Statement by Peter Skopec, WISPIRG Director:
“How many legislators can honestly claim that Wisconsinites want their government to be less transparent, their right to vote be less protected, their elected representatives held less accountable for breaking the rules? We can’t keep our government honest without an impartial, strong watchdog like the GAB.
“Our elections are flooded with Big Money. Access to the polls is under attack across the state. And special interest lobbyists are at the Capitol pushing a narrow agenda that clashes with what’s right for the public. At a time like this, dismantling the GAB is the last thing we should do.
“We’re calling on all Wisconsinites to contact their legislators: Urge them to keep the GAB non-partisan, keep the GAB strong, and give it the tools it needs to do its job.”
WISPIRG, the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization that takes on powerful interests on behalf of its members, working to win concrete results for good government, public health and Wisconsin consumers.
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