Government and Political Roundup: Baldwin appointed to Senate budget committeeWisconsin News
-- Democrat Tammy Baldwin will stay on the front lines of the federal budget battle.
Democrat Tammy Baldwin will stay on the front lines of the federal budget battle. Baldwin serves on the House Budget Committee – and she was appointed to the Senate budget panel after being elected last month to replace Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl. Baldwin will also serve on the Senate Health Committee, after spending much of her time in the House on expanding care for the uninsured. She’ll also serve on the Homeland Security panel – and she said she looks forward to quote, “keeping the American people safe” and strengthening our national security. Baldwin also replaces Kohl on the Senate’s special committee on aging. Baldwin defeated Republican Tommy Thompson last month. She’ll be sworn in as the state’s junior senator on January third.
State Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald was talking about people connected with his own party, when he said the Government Accountability Board is biased toward Democrats. Fitzgerald said this week that the six retired judges on the board should be replaced with political appointees. But the Madison Capital Times says two of those members used to be Republicans in the state Assembly – and one was a G-O-P district attorney. One Board member was also a Democratic D-A, and the other two never sought partisan offices. Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca said Republicans are trying to replace the judges with quote, “political cronies who will do their bidding” because the Board made a few decisions during the recall elections that they didn’t like. Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson says the board’s decisions have cut both ways – and he does not believe the panel has a political slant. Fitzgerald’s office is not commenting further. Board chairman David Deininger was a G-O-P representative from Monroe in the 1980’s and early ‘90’s. Thomas Barland was a G-O-P Assembly member in the 1960’s before becoming an Eau Claire judge. And Gerald Nichol was a Republican D-A from Dane County for two years in the 1970’s.