Van Hollen Still Wasting Money on Lawsuit Appeal as GAB Plans to Conduct Voter Checks

Dec 16, 2008

Attorney General Must Drop Appeal,
Stop Burning Through Taxpayer Resources

MADISON – Attorney General JB Van Hollen is still wasting taxpayer resources appealing the politically-motivated lawsuit he lost against the Government Accountability Board, even as the GAB today outlined plans to perform the same cross-checks the lawsuit sought on voter registrations dating back to 2006.

Van Hollen has said he will continue pursuit of the appeal until the GAB physically performs the checks, which will not likely be started before mid-2009.

“Van Hollen needs to stop burning through taxpayer resources and drop his baseless appeal now,” said Joe Wineke, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair. “The taxpayers of Wisconsin can’t afford to have more of their money wasted on Van Hollen’s appeal, which is now redundantly seeking the same voter checks that the GAB will conduct. The case was baseless from the start, and it is now moot.”

Today, the GAB outlined the procedures it will use for completing the retroactive voter registration checks. The DPW, which was a party to the lawsuit, has said all along that the GAB has the discretion to decide how and when these checks should be conducted, not the Attorney General.

As state chair of the McCain Campaign, Van Hollen abused his authority as Attorney General and misused his taxpayer-funded office for partisan purposes by filing his lawsuit to disenfranchise voters and sway the election in favor of his candidate. 

Just before the fall election, Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi dismissed Van Hollen’s lawsuit, finding that nothing in state or federal law requires a data match for the right to vote.  Judge Sumi agreed with the DPW that the cross-checks have nothing to do with voter eligibility, and that innocent mistakes and typos cannot be exploited as a way to block one of the fundamental rights of our democracy – our right to vote.  Furthermore, the judge found Van Hollen did not have the authority to bring the suit in the first place.

“Voters will remember how much of their hard-earned money the Attorney General has wasted trying to manipulate the election and please his Republican bosses,” said Wineke. “It is time for Van Hollen to finally abandon his baseless lawsuit and stop throwing away state resources.”