Intimidated by public opposition, Gov. Walker signs political corruption bills in private

MADISON – Two controversial Republican bills to dismantle the Government Accountability Board and increase special interest campaign influence were quietly signed into law by Gov. Walker today. Rather than signing these bills in public, Gov. Walker attempted to hide his actions by blocking media access and signing these bills behind closed doors. The new laws eliminate Wisconsin’s non-partisan campaign and ethics oversight structure and make extensive changes to campaign finance laws to allow for more special interest coordination with political candidates. 

“With mass layoffs at a five-year high, we should be focused on helping Wisconsin families rather than corrupt politicians and special interests,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “It’s disappointing that Gov. Walker and Legislative Republicans continue to undermine our state’s proud tradition of clean, open and honest government instead of focusing on ways to move Wisconsin forward.”

The nationally-renowned, non-partisan Government Accountability Board was created in the aftermath of the political caucus scandals in Madison. For years, it had effectively enforced Wisconsin’s campaign and ethics laws in a fair and non-partisan manner. 

Upset by the criminal conviction of six Walker aides on charges ranging from theft to misconduct in office, Republicans have repeatedly sought to weaken Wisconsin’s ethics enforcement and campaign finance laws. These moves come at a time when Wisconsin continues to struggle economically with declining family wages, a shrinking middle class and a spike in mass layoffs across the state.