The state’s ethics and elections commissions defended their staff Tuesday against Attorney General Brad Schimel’s report on a leak investigation stemming from a now-shuttered investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign.
The Wisconsin Ethics Commission criticized the report for “omissions and inaccuracies” and called on Schimel to acknowledge that ethics staff cooperated.
Schimel responded that a letter from ethics commission officials doesn’t list a specific error and accused commission chairman David Halbrooks of having a conflict in the matter because he was granted immunity in the John Doe investigation.
Meanwhile the state Elections Commission defended its administrator and a staff member against a call for their termination, while saying it will ask Walker for permission to hire an outside lawyer to represent them in matters related to Schimel’s report.
“Nothing in that report has caused us to question our support of interim administrator Michael Haas,” chairman Mark Thomsen said.
There’s the problem. What bothers me about this is that there is an utter lack of introspection. If nothing else, given that these commissions are tasked with upholding the campaign and ethics laws, they would want to be above reproach. Even the appearance of bias or corruption should be a cause for concern. If they were serious about their jobs, I would have expected a statement that said something like, “the report has serious accusations that deserve a thorough review.”
Instead, we get a knee-jerk defense, claims of inaccuracies without proof or specifics, and the erection of a wall around their staff. These are not people who are serious about the truth and yet they are in charge of impartially judging the ethics of others? Puhlease.