The Government Accountability Board Blows It - Again


The Government Accountability Board Blows It - Again

CREATED Jan 31, 2012

"The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight Rides Again"!

Yesterday, the Government Accountability Board reneged (at least for the moment) on a promise to post online petitions seeking the recall of Governor Walker.  The stated reason was "privacy concerns".

Let's be real clear.  Recall petitions are public documents and the public has a right to see them.  Recall petitions against State Senators have already been made public.  In this same vein, I don't believe there is any valid legal basis to withhold the Walker recall petitions from the public.  Frankly, that the Government Accountability Board would even consider such a tactic is unimaginable!

So what's really behind the objections to making obviously public records public?  Is this really a concern for victims of domestic abuse or is it something else?  I think it's something else.

First, an early analysis of the Walker recall petitions by volunteers suggests that there are massive problems with many of the recall petitions.  For example, it is not uncommon to hear reports that pages of petitions have been turned in bearing the same handwriting.  If the petitions are made public (and accessible via the internet), it will be easier for people to determine if they have been victims of identity theft in connection with this effort.  If there is in fact fraud, those responsible for the fraud obviously want to make it as difficult as possible for it to be uncovered. 

It's too bad the GAB would play into this game.

Second, by preventing the public from seeing the petitions in an easily accessible manner, it makes the process of identifying bogus signatures and addresses much more difficult.  Frankly, despite the breathless and unquestioning reporting by the media, I don't believe that there are anything near the claimed one million signatures on recall petitions.  If it turns out that the number of valid signatures is hundreds of thousands fewer than claimed, I think it reflects on the true support of the recall effort (and the gullibility of the media).

PT Barnum said there was a sucker born every minute.  If the public and the media have been played for suckers by recall organizers, that's something people should know.  The Government Accountability Board shouldn't be obstructing the  right of the public to know whether it's been scammed. 

But then again, the Government Accountability Board has already established itself as being "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" - so why should anything they do surprise us!