Wisconsin’s nonpartisan elections board in final days, officially disbanding Thursday

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MADISON — Wisconsin’s unique nonpartisan elections board is in its final days.

The Government Accountability Board officially disbands on Thursday after eight years of operation. In its place will be two commissions with partisan appointees. One will oversee elections while the other handles ethics, campaign finance and lobbying laws.

Republicans targeted the GAB for elimination after it approved an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker and conservative groups. The state Supreme Court last year ruled the probe was unconstitutional.

The board’s retiring executive director Kevin Kennedy says he’s proud of the GAB’s work and the new commissions should follow its nonpartisan lead.

But Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says the new commissions should be a fresh start following a failed experiment.