After passing legislation to gut the Government Accountability Board, the non-partisan board of retired judges tasked with overseeing elections and ethics in Wisconsin, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald made the first appointment to the new ethics commission. A retired judge? A retired elder statesman? Nah:
The first announced appointee to the new state ethics commission is the secretary of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, state officials said Tuesday.
Critics said the appointment of Katie McCallum confirms their fear that the commission and its new counterpart, which will oversee elections, will be beholden to legislative leaders and partisan interests.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, appointed McCallum, of Middleton, said Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board.
How could that possibly go wrong?
The law allows Republican and Democratic leaders in the Assembly and Senate to appoint one member each to the elections and ethics commissions.
The governor has two appointees to both commissions. He or she nominates two former judges to the ethics commission and two former county or municipal clerks to the elections commission. All gubernatorial appointees are subject to a confirmation vote by the state Senate.
So essentially we are back to pre-2008 when the Board was created as the result of the merger of the former State Ethics Board and State Elections Boards. And those went down in flames following a number of scandals…wash, rinse, repeat?