Fitzgerald's Partisan GAB Pipe Dream Falls Flat

Dec 21, 2011

Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011
Contact: Graeme Zielinski, WisDems Communications Director
414-364-1077; graemez@wisdems.org

Wisconsin Editorial Boards Pan “Idiotic” Plot from “Hyperpartisan” Jeff Fitzgerald to Politicize Independent Election Board

MADISON — Jeff Fitzgerald’s “hyperpartisan” plot to politicize the independent Government Accountability Board has triggered a massive backlash in Wisconsin.

“That idea is beyond idiotic,” scolded the Beloit Daily News, joining a chorus of prominent Wisconsin newspapers taking issue with Fitzgerald. “Government needs less partisanship and more independence. Politicians who fail to get that deserve to become ex-politicians at the voters’ earliest opportunity.”

The Wisconsin State Journal piled on, writing that Jeff Fitzgerald was the “player who constantly whines about the referee, rather than focusing on his or her own performance.”

“It makes sense that Jeff Fitzgerald is playing whiny, partisan games, because his performance as a leader has been terrible — just look at his performance on jobs,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate. “Thanks to the extreme and divisive Fitzgerald and Walker agenda, Wisconsin lead the country in the number of jobs lost last month.”

Take a look at some the intense criticism Fitzgerald has received for his “extreme” and “hyperpartisan” plan to politicize the GAB:

  • “It’s a partisan issue — and it’s a power issue. Maybe it’s best for the people in power. But it’s not best for the public,” Appleton Post Crescent, “Don’t take apart accountability board”).
  • “It’s no surprise to us that the hyperpartisan Fitzgerald probably would like a return to a partisan elections board – exactly what the state suffered with until 2007, when the GAB was created,” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Fitzgerald’s vision: A state without the GAB”).
  • “What’s the cure for the excessive partisanship that has embroiled Wisconsin and created a never-ending election cycle? Why, more partisanship, of course. That, in summary, is the solution proposed by state Assembly Speaker Scott Fitzgerald,” (Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, “Nonpartisan panel of judges best for election oversight”).
  • “…every time Fitzgerald starts yapping, it seems, this key ally of the governor makes his side appear more extreme and hyper-partisan…He talked about changing the independent GAB into a partisan board…ARE YOU KIDDING? We certainly hope so. That idea is beyond idiotic. It would scrap what stands as one of the few bipartisan, good government initiatives enacted in the past decade.”  (Beloit Daily News, “GAB: Keep it independent“).
  • “Every competitive sports team seems to have at least one player who constantly whines about the referee, rather than focusing on his or her own performance.  That’s who Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, is starting to resemble at the state Capitol. He regularly and predictably grouses about calls made by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board — unless, of course, the calls go his way.
 (Wisconsin State Journal, “Stop grousing at the referee“).