Walker Says Reforming GAB Not A Priority


Gov. Scott Walker says he won’t prioritize a plan by incoming Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald that would turn the state’s elections board into a partisan body.

Sen. Fitzgerald said this week that he wants to reconfigure Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board, saying the board as it stands now makes decisions that favor Democrats. Six reserve judges sit on the board. Fitzgerald said he’d favor returning the board to a system of partisan appointees.

Speaking to reporters, Gov. Walker did not promise to veto such a plan, but he said it had not come up on his radar screen, “You know, certainly issues like that we’ll look at. But that’s not a priority for us. It’s not something we’re going to focus on. It’s certainly not going to be a part of the legislative package we’re going to be pushing the legislature on in 2013.”

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Walker was asked whether the board had treated him unfairly, “I haven’t had any problems, I mean for us, there are always issues you get no matter what organization you deal with. But we just persevere and move forward. Again, it’s not been a problem for me.”

The governor’s campaign did sue the board over the way it reviewed recall petitions earlier this year, but he said that was a one-time situation, “When I look at issues out there, I doubt there will ever be a situation like that that will ever come up again in the state of Wisconsin. So that was a unique one-time experience that nobody ever had really been familiar with and probably never will be again in the future.”

While the pool of applicants for the Government Accountability Board is limited to reserve judges, they are appointed by Gov. Walker under current law. The board was set up in a 2007 deal supported by nearly ever Democratic and Republican member of the legislature.