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Fitzgerald Remains Opposed To Ethics, Elections Heads

Elections, Ethics Commissions Call For Hearing To Confirm Leader

Wisconsin state Capitol dome
vikramjam (CC-BY-NC)

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is rejecting calls to hold a public hearing on the confirmation of Ethics and Elections commission leaders.

Fitzgerald’s spokesman Dan Romportl said Tuesday that the plan remains for the Senate to vote Tuesday, Jan. 23 on rejecting the confirmation of Michael Haas as Elections Commission administrator and Brian Bell as Ethics Commission head.

Both commissions have asked Fitzgerald, of Juneau, to hold a public hearing so testimony can be taken in support of confirming Bell and Haas. The Elections Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to ask Fitzgerald for the hearing.

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But Fitzgerald has stood firm in wanting to force Haas and Bell out, citing concerns over what he says are partisan influences leftover from when they worked for the former Government Accountability Board.

The chairman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission is accusing Fitzgerald of being a coward and a bully.

Elections Commission chairman Mark Thomsen on Tuesday called on senators to stand up to Fitzgerald and vote to confirm Haas.

The bipartisan boards that hired Haas and Bell stand by them.

Thomsen said senators “have the guts to stand up to the bully” Fitzgerald.

Both Haas and Bell have refused to step down and the commissions that hired them have repeatedly voiced support for them.

Editor’s Note: This story was last updated at 12:10 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 with comments from Thomsen.