The Wisconsin Government (Unaccountability for Scott Walker) Board | WisCommunity

The Wisconsin Government (Unaccountability for Scott Walker) Board

[img_assist|nid=58034|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=177|height=227]Corruption in government occurs when politicians and those who influence them seek to undermine the spirit and literal intent of the laws in order to benefit their own narrow interests -- ethics be damned.

By which definition, Scott Walker is fast making himself one of the most damnable and corrupt governors in Wisconsin history, and in only a matter of a few months. Those of us Milwaukee County residents who watched his ethical failings while he was county executive saw this coming, but couldn't fully anticipate just how brazen and power drunk he would become once assuming the state's top elective office.

Worried that Walker might indeed actually face a recall petition drive from angry voters, the Wisconsin Republican Party is now apparently moving to give their maximum leader ultimate power over the rules created by the non-partisan Government Accountability Board (GAB). The board oversees elections, including recalls, and -- although this power already has been largely gutted by other partisan attacks -- oversight of campaign spending and reporting.

Giving Walker power to micromanage the nonpartisan GAB through a new partisan function awarded to his office would be to put the fox in charge of the henhouse. It would be an extension of the GOP majority's earlier decision to give away to Walker the legislature's power to review and even reject state administrative rules. In so doing, Wisconsin Republicans are rapidly bringing us into a new era of almost total laissez faire regulation and oversight, where them that has the gold makes the rules and the rest of us can just go screw ourselves.

The irony of a partisan governor seizing control of the functions of a non-partisan agency, and at a time and in a manner that would greatly benefit his own political future, may be too much for even Walker apologists like those running the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board.

The newspaper's editorial page just had to acknowledge the growing and deepening impact of the secret John Doe investigation into Walker aides and political appointees, apparently related but not necessarily limited to campaign practices. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see this newest GOP assault on the GAB as disturbingly Nixonian.

The newspaper's reporters have covered the GAB development. It'll thus be interesting to see what if anything the Journal Sentinel editorial writers make of a governor whose party appears determined to politicize a vital, non-partisan agency -- one intended to protect the vote and serve the people, an agency already badly crippled and on the verge of becoming another Walker "tool."

It'll likewise be interesting to see if other news media in the state are willing to express any thought on just how recklessly and this governor and his party have been behaving. Because, the Walkerites continue to overreach, big time. Every day the evidence mounts that their agenda isn't just a threat to the state's economic health, but also to Wisconsin's very democracy.

It's the kind of dictatorial power grab that usually only happens in places like Syria or Libya -- or Fitzwalkerstan.

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September 27, 2011 - 8:40pm