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As I See It

The power of punitive politics



Typically, when governors appoint someone to their cabinet or another high-level position, it is a matter of routine that those appointments are approved. Not so much anymore. In recent years, as politics have become more bare-fisted, lawmakers are using their power over appointments to block their opponent’s efforts to advance their agenda, or simply to be punitive. We have seen this too often of late. It has taken years for Governor Tony Evers’ nominees to be approved by the state legislature. Some gubernatorial appointees remain unconfirmed today. It is not good for our democracy for our politicians to be so punitive. That is why it is good to see that La Crosse Senator Brad Pfaff voted to confirm the new Wisconsin Sergeant At Arms, despite their political differences. Pfaff knows too well the effect of punitive politics. He was Governor Evers’ pick for state Ag Secretary, but lawmakers refused to vote on his nomination for years until finally voting not to confirm and he was forced to resign. Now he is extending an olive branch to show the process works best when we work together. Legislators should get to work and vote on confirming all of the remaining appointees without further delay.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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