Sometimes even the most well-intentioned experiments end up failing miserably. Merging the former State Elections and State Ethics Boards in 2007 to create the Government Accountability Board will forever remain a black mark on Wisconsin’s legislative record. In commemoration of the GAB’s final days, let’s take a look at a timeline of the agency’s less-than-stellar track record:
- September 2011: GAB rules that stickers can be affixed to student IDs to meet voter identification requirements.
- December 2011: GAB rules that Mickey Mouse and Adolf Hitler are valid signatures on recall petitions if accompanied by a Wisconsin address.
- February 2013: GAB unilaterally decides to mail postcards to 310,000 Wisconsin voters who had not voted in the previous four years – effectively ignoring state statute and bypassing more than 1,800 municipal clerks.
- July 2014: GAB fights against proposed rule to allow poll observers to be stationed close enough to listen to interactions between voters and poll workers.
- September 2014: GAB uses taxpayer dollars to pay for a new and more confusing ballot design ahead of the November 2014 elections. Assembly Speaker Vos and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald sue the GAB in response.
- December 2014: A Legislative Audit Bureau review of the GAB finds that the organization failed to fulfill its statutorily required duties in a timely manner.
The GAB is run by Kevin Kennedy, a liberal activist who successfully transformed the organization into a political weapon of Wisconsin’s far-left movement. His recent resignation serves as the final stage of the rogue agency’s dismantlement. Two days after Kennedy’s scheduled departure, the GAB will be reconstituted as two separate commissions consisting of partisan appointees.