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JUNE 18, 2018 -Today’s Supreme Court decision in Gill v. Whitford was not what most of us had hoped. Time and effort to come up with a mathematical measurement by which to prove injustice was what many believed would be the proof of the pudding, so to say. Sadly, the court felt the argument fell short.
Mike McCabe is no stranger to disappointing decisions. For most of his adult life he has been an independent watchdog working to expose and break the grip of big money influence in Wisconsin politics. That line of work didn’t make him a favorite of the political establishment at the State Capitol. He is proud of that work, however it meant he regularly tangled with those who lorded over the place. One such tangle began in 2008 and 2009 when McCabe began lobbying the then current Democratic majority to approve and enact the Iowa Model for redistricting. Mike continued to fight even after the massive loses of the 2010 election. In the remaining lame duck months after that election, Mike continued to push for reform, but the Dems in power were not willing to consider giving up that power for the next time they would control the houses.
Over the years Mike has won some and lost some. He was a chief architect of a landmark 2007 ethics law that was the first of its kind in the nation and established the Government Accountability Board to provide independent, nonpartisan oversight of elections and ethics. Last November the Wisconsin State Journal included it among 73 laws considered to be the most impactful legislation of the last 100 years in Wisconsin.
That law lasted less than a decade. It was repealed by our current governor and his allies in the legislature, along with the 2009 Impartial Justice Act reforming state Supreme Court elections that he had worked to get passed and signed into law. Clean government protections that took years to get written into the law were erased in a matter of days.
“Setbacks like these sting. But all you can do is get up, dust yourself off, and get back to work. Wisconsin used to be known from coast to coast as a beacon of clean, open and honest government. Our state doesn’t deserve that reputation anymore. Cronyism, corruption and what amounts to legal bribery have seeped in and taken root. That breaks my heart. Wisconsin is better than this. Making Wisconsin better than this is a big reason why I am running for governor,” said McCabe in closing.