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Ohio State law prof: Plan to change GAB "worst idea I've heard this year"


MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - An Ohio State law professor says politicizing Wisconsin’s basic election rules is, “the worst idea I’ve heard this year.”

Daniel Tojaki has written about the state’s Government Accountability Board. And he criticizes a proposal by Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald to replace the retired judges on the board with political appointees.

Tojaki has written that Wisconsin’s elections agency is a national model – and it does a much better job than the partisan secretaries of state who often run elections elsewhere.

Tojaki equates an election administrator to an umpire – and in many states, he says the umpire is actually a player for one of the teams.

Fitzgerald says the Accountability Board favors Democrats, and he said it showed during the recall elections over the past two years. He also said the board rubber-stamps proposals from its staff – something the board’s chairman denied.

Tojaki tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he’s not surprised that partisan politician is trying to wrestle power away from the Accountability Board – and he calls it unfortunate.

Incoming Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he’d be willing to consider changes. But board chairman David Deininger said Fitzgerald’s proposal would be a “step backward.”

Republican Governor Scott Walker has not commented on Fitzgerald’s proposal.