The state Senate voted Tuesday not to confirm the administrators of the Wisconsin Ethics and Elections Boards. The result, apparently a forgone conclusion more than a year ago. That’s when Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he met with Mike Haas and Brian Bell.
“I flat out told both of those men, you’re going to be interim (appointments),” Fitzgerald said. “You’re not going to be confirmed.”
Both administrators had the support of their prospective boards, but were opposed by Republicans because of their employment with the disbanded Government Accountability Board. GOP leaders had concerns about partisanship. The state Department of Adminstration said Tuesday that Bell and Haas are no longer adminstrators, but that both would have restoration rights to previous positions they held in state government.
Middleton Democrat, Senator Jon Erpenbach, said Bell and Haas were entitled to a public hearing before a Senate committee. “If somebody has been nominated to something, there is a process.”
Both Bell and Haas say they plan to talk to their appointed commissions before deciding their next steps.