NOW the Secretary of State Has Value...

Complimentary Story
March 2024

   Several Republicans in the state legislature are calling for transferring the duties of the Wisconsin Election Commission to the Secretary of State post.

   According to an article from the Associated Press dated December 1, 2021, titled “Republican wants to empower Wisconsin Secretary of State,” written by Scott Bauer, then candidate for Secretary of State, State Representative Amy Loundenbeck said, “…she wants to turn the mostly powerless office into a check on the bipartisan Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC).” So Loudenbeck didn’t want to eliminate the WEC, just wanted to be elected Secretary of State and “serve as a check” to the WEC. So, she didn’t want to empower the office either.

   The article explains that the “…Secretary of State has not been in charge of running elections in Wisconsin since 1974.” Whose fault is that? Who gutted that office?

   A more recent article from from the Associated Press, dated December 6, 2023,  states that “…under the new bill, the elections commission would be dissolved with powers transferred to the Secretary of State’s office with oversight from the Legislature five months before the 2024 election. That would put Democratic Secretary of State Sarah Godlewski in charge of elections, but she couldn’t take any action without the Legislature’s approval.”

   What? So, Republicans want to empower the elected Secretary of State but not allow her to carry out those duties without approval from the GOP-controlled Legislature first?

   The article adds that Wisconsin is one of 12 states where the Secretary of State’s office does not run elections.

   Republicans calling for adding powers back to the office of Secretary of State – regardless of the reasons why they want to empower the office – is proof that this office and the office of State Treasurer could be strengthened to oversee elections and be a watchdog of the peoples’ money, respectively, if the GOP and the Democrats wanted to.

   When I ran for State Treasurer as a Constitutionalist candidate, I suggested many duties for the office, such as the Treasurer overseeing the state’s Rainy-Day Fund, conducting audits, rewriting and proposing a brand-new, simplified tax code to the Legislature, and overseeing the state’s Unclaimed Property Program. I suggested the elected Treasurer should be the automatic head of the Department of Revenue, not some unelected, appointed bureaucrat who is not accountable to the voters. It makes no sense to have an elected treasurer serve outside of a revenue-collecting agency. Adding these powers to the Treasurer’s office would get more media coverage for this race and force whoever wins the seat to produce results or be voted out in four years. Unelected agency heads can’t be voted out when they don’t perform well. 

   Let’s be honest. Republicans only want to transfer duties to the Secretary of State because they are worried about winning future elections, and they are upset about the 2020 presidential election results in Wisconsin, not to strengthen the office for the office’s sake. The Republicans did mount an impeachment against Meagan Wolfe, accusing her of “maladministration during her tenure” and arguing Wolfe “promoted and encouraged illegal voting behavior,” according to a September 21, 2023 article. So, if Republicans weren’t worried about future elections and voter fraud, they wouldn’t be calling for doing anything with this office, which means their call for a Secretary of State to oversee elections is cynical politics at its worst.

   The Constitution Party of Wisconsin is consistent on this issue. Our platform plank on this issue states –
Elimination of Elective Offices
   The CPoW opposes any proposal to change any statewide (e.g., Secretary of State or State Treasurer) or local offices (e.g., County Clerk or Mayor) currently filled through popular election to appointed positions. Such changes will reduce the officeholder’s accountability to the electorate and instead make the office essentially a political patronage position.

   So that accountable representation can be preserved, we also object to electing at-large city aldermen.

   Unlike the two major parties, we Constitutionalists believe eliminating elected offices, especially statewide ones, to consolidate power is destructive and wrong. We need competition and more ballot choices. Two political parties (any two parties) controlling all the levers of political power at the state and especially federal levels has not served our Constitutional Republic well and will end badly for America.

Contact us today at 608-561-7996 or email: to request your free, no-obligation Constitution Party of Wisconsin information packet. Thank you.
(608) 561-7996

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