By Kent Berkley
A diverse and bipartisan group of concerned individuals, community organizations, civil rights advocates, and election reformers have made a public plea to Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald and Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Vos to discontinue their efforts to oust Elections Commission Administrator Michael Haas and Ethics Commission Administrator Brian Bell. The group jointly published an open letter requesting that Senator Fitzgerald and Speaker Vos discontinue their campaign to pressure Haas and Bell to resign. In the alternative, they request Fitzgerald and Vos to forego any action against Haas and Bell without giving them the opportunity to defend themselves in an open hearing. Matt Rothschild, Executive Director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, suggests that the targeting of Hass and Bell is unfair, politically motivated and rooted in retaliation for their previous associations with the now-defunct Government Accountability Board.
The Government Accountability Board previously investigated Governor Walker’s alleged circumvention of campaign finance laws, an issue that became moot when the Wisconsin Supreme Court invalidated the laws as being in contravention of the state constitution. Rothschild stated that Bell and Hass had limited involvement in that particular investigation and subsequent reviews of the Government Accountability Board only provide additional evidence that Haas and Bell are nonpartisan public servants whose actions and character are above reproach.