For Immediate Release: January 23, 2018

Contact: State Senator Janis Ringhand: (608) 266-2253; SenRinghand@legis.wisconsin.gov

Senate Republicans Rigging State Elections and Ethics Panels

State Senate Republicans are rigging the Elections and Ethics Boards by voting to fire the Administrators of both panels without a public hearing or input.

“The Senate Republican’s idea of fairness is to put their thumb on the scale and rig our election system to their advantage. They don’t want input from experts or the public, they just want to make sure that they have an advantage,” State Senator Janis Ringhand said. “It’s rigging the system, plain as that. The Republicans have rigged crooked legislative districts to give themselves an advantage and now they want to rig the administration of our elections. It may be legal but it sure isn’t right.”

The State Senate voted along party lines today to reject the appointments of Michael Haas as Administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission and Brian Bell as Administrator of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. The two commissions are responsible for the administration of state elections and upholding state ethics laws. No public hearing for either appointment was held and the support for two individuals by their respective boards was ignored.

Senate Republicans stated that members of the Republican Party are “uncomfortable” with the two administrators and are hoping that an investigation being conducted by the Republican Attorney General would bring comfort to their members and help to justify their actions today.

“Of course the Republicans are uncomfortable. Six people were convicted for violating our election laws. Republican operatives went to jail because they broke the law. Rather than attacking the disease of criminal activity in our elections, Senate Republican are trying to kill the doctor,” Ringhand added. “The system is crooked and this witch hunt just makes it worse.”

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