Incoming Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) is renewing GOP calls to replace judges on the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board with partisan appointees, similar to the way the state's old Elections Board used to be configured. His longing for the past recalls a recent Isthmus cover story about Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the GAB, which quoted a former judge who served on both the Elections Board and GAB.
Circuit Court Judge Gordon Myse, who served in Outagamie, Shawano, Langlade and Menominee counties, described his time on the Elections Board as "the most frustrating experience" of his life.
It was so bad, he said he refused to serve a second term.
"The board was composed of good and honorable people, but it was very partisan, and we were always in stalemate. No productive action seemed to be possible," Myse told reporter Mary Ellen Bell.
Myse, who was appointed to the GAB by former Gov. Jim Doyle, finished his three-year term last December.
"The GAB is definitely an improvement," Myse said.
"The criticism of the GAB is nonsense, and it's untrue," he added. "There are people in the Legislature who don't like the GAB and don't want it to have jurisdiction over their conduct, but we need complete compliance with the ethics rules and election rules, and when there is an issue the board is required by its charge to investigate."