The Latest: Elections chair calls Fitzgerald a bully

Michael Haas (Photo courtesy Wisconsin Government Accountability Board)

MADISON (AP) -- The Latest on confirmation of Elections, Ethics administrators (all times local):

12:01 p.m.

The chairman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission is accusing Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of being a coward and a bully.

Elections Commission chairman Mark Thomsen on Tuesday called on senators to stand up to Fitzgerald and vote to confirm Michael Haas as administrator of the agency.

Fitzgerald has refused to hold a hearing on the confirmation and his spokesman Dan Romportl says the Senate plans to vote Jan. 23 to reject Haas's confirmation. The Senate also plans to reject the confirmation of Brian Bell as Ethics Commission administrator.

The bipartisan boards that hired Haas and Bell stand by them.

Thomsen says senators "have the guts to stand up to the bully" Fitzgerald.


10:26 a.m.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is rejecting calls to hold a public hearing on the confirmation of Ethics and Elections commission leaders.

Fitzgerald's spokesman Dan Romportl said Tuesday that the plan remains for the Senate to vote Jan. 23 on rejecting the confirmation of Michael Haas as Elections Commission administrator and Brian Bell as Ethics Commission head.

Both commissions have asked Fitzgerald to hold a public hearing so testimony can be taken in support of confirming Bell and Haas. The Elections Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to ask Fitzgerald for the hearing.

But Fitzgerald has stood firm in wanting to force Haas and Bell out, citing concerns over what he says are partisan influences leftover from when they worked for the former Government Accountability Board.

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