Monday, July 20, 2015

Scott Walker seeks to destroy nonpartisan elections agency

Move is clearly political payback against an agency that looked into his illegal campaign coordination

Would Scott Walker want to dismantle the Federal Elections Commission if he’s elected president?

That’s kind of what he’s proposing, on the state level, in Wisconsin. Walker is backing a plan that would effectively transform the state’s nonpartisan watchdog on elections, a move that would likely make it easier for politicians to get away with more shenanigans on the campaign trail.

Why would Walker call for making such a change? Because he was the recipient of an investigation from the Government Accountability Board.

The second John Doe investigation looked into whether Walker unlawfully directed donors to give funds to third party organizations in order to avoid campaign finance limits. Leaked documents from that investigation indicate that Walker had likely committed an illegal act, but court judgments from conservative judges required the investigation to halt.

Last week the State Supreme Court upheld those lower court decisions, requiring the John Doe investigation to stop and destroy all evidence obtained.

The Court’s 4-2 decision was itself controversial: in total, the four conservative justices that issued the opinion of the Court had benefitted from $10 million of campaign spending on behalf of the conservative organizations involved in the John Doe inquiry. None of those justices determined that their interests in the case required recusal.

It’s curious how anyone could look at these developments and consider it to be a fair application of the law. It’s even more astounding that Walker himself wants to do away with the GAB completely. It’s a move that is nothing more than a political cheap shot, a payback against a nonpartisan state agency that Walker himself dislikes.

That’s not leadership, it’s pettiness. And the national media should take note of how he operates on the state level.

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