GAB Overhaul Expected To Be Introduced This Week

Bill Could Introduce Partisan Appointments To Board

Shawn Johnson/WPR

Republican state lawmakers are expected to introduce a bill this week that would overhaul the board charged with overseeing elections, ethics and lobbying laws in Wisconsin.

The changes to the Government Accountability Board that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald are set to release aren’t yet public.

However, Gov. Scott Walker said he’s all for proposals to essentially populate the board with Republicans and Democrats, instead of the six former judges who currently oversee the agency. He also said he looks forward to seeing more input from municipal and county clerks.

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“The idea of having an equal representation of both Democrats and Republicans so you’ve got an even bipartisan balance — and you’ve got an influence of people who actually run elections — is incredibly important,” he said.

GAB Chair Gerald Nichol has said the changes aren’t needed and that the board should be left as-is precisely because of its nonpartisanship.

Many Republicans have long called for making changes to the GAB, saying that especially with regard to its role in recent “John Doe” investigations, it’s acted as an unchecked partisan body.