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Republicans Reject Six More Gubernatorial Appointees PDF Print E-mail
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Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 12 March 2024 16:54

we_wisconsin_senateSenators continue to obstruct the peaceful and respectful transfer of power, and threaten, intimidate, and fire individuals who may not share their political beliefs or who dare to publicly disagree with them.


MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today blasted Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate for once again voting to baselessly fire six of the governor’s appointees, respectively, to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Board, and the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse. Senate Republicans today also voted to fire two appointees to the University of Wisconsin (UW) System Board of Regents. Gov. Evers’ press release regarding Senate Republicans baselessly firing UW Regents here.

Since 2019, accounting for two UW Regents Senate Republicans fired today as well, Senate Republicans have now baselessly rejected 21 of the governor’s appointees, representing a continued escalation of efforts by Wisconsin Republicans in recent years to upend basic functions of democracy, obstruct the peaceful and respectful transfer of power, and threaten, intimidate, and fire individuals who may not share their political beliefs or who dare to publicly disagree with them.

tony-evers“While I am glad to be appointing another round of exceptional appointees today who I know will do good work on behalf of the people of our state, I am apoplectic that Republican Senators continue to fire qualified, dedicated Wisconsinites for no reason whatsoever,” said Gov. Evers. “These volunteers have done nothing to earn the political wrath of these Republicans—nothing. It’s obvious this is about Wisconsin Republicans exacting their political punishment and retribution on Wisconsinites who’ve volunteered to give their time, expertise, and experience to serve our neighbors and our state. And that is a damn shame.”

WISCONSIN JUDICIAL COMMISSION

Wisconsin Republicans today refused to confirm Gov. Evers’ appointments to the Wisconsin Judicial Committee: Yulonda Anderson, Jane Foley, Janet Jenkins, and Judy Ziewacz.

In order to ensure the Wisconsin Judicial Commission’s important work is not delayed due to Republicans’ vote today, Gov. Evers immediately announced four new appointments to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission: Barbara Notestein, Roberta Gassman, Analiese Eicher, and John Hendricks.

Barbara Notestein served seven terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1985 to 1999, including being elected by her colleagues as the first woman assistant majority leader in the Democratic caucus. Prior to her time in the Assembly, Notestein worked as a social worker and served as the executive director of Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, where she was instrumental in bringing the school breakfast program to Milwaukee Public Schools. In 2000, she was appointed to serve as the Midwest Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Following her service with the SBA, Notestein worked for over 10 years as the executive director of Safe & Sound, an organization dedicated to building safe and healthy neighborhoods, expanding community resources, and supporting young people, and in 2011, Notestein was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for her work at Safe & Sound. In 2023, she was appointed to the Milwaukee Ethics Board, where she still serves today. A photo of Notestein is available here, and she will serve a term ending in August 2026.

Roberta Gassman has had a long career in public service and leadership at the federal, state, and local levels. Gassman served as the longest-serving secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development under Gov. Jim Doyle and served as a policy advisor under Gov. Tony Earl. She also served as deputy assistant secretary of Employment and Training at the U.S. Department of Labor in President Barack Obama’s administration. Gassman earned her master’s degree in social work from the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work at UW-Madison, and she has served as faculty for the school and as an honorary fellow and emeritus member of its Board of Visitors. An active community leader, Gassman has served on several local boards and commissions, including chairing the Madison Community Foundation Board of Governors and serving on the boards of United Way of Dane County, Edgewood College, the Overture Center, and Madison’s Equal Opportunities Commission. Gassman has been recognized with the Wisconsin Women in Government’s Legacy Award and the Rotary Club of Madison’s Humanitarian Service Award, was named a YWCA Woman of Distinction, and UW-Madison created a distinguished lecture series and fund in her name. A photo of Gassman is available here, and she will serve a term ending in August 2026.

Analiese Eicher has served on the Dane County Board of Supervisors for six years and has served over seven years as a member of the Plan Commission for the city of Sun Prairie. Eicher is currently the director of communications at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison and has led numerous efforts and initiatives to protect and expand voting rights, bolster government transparency, and increase access to higher education. A photo of Eicher is available here, and she will serve a term ending in August 2024.

John Hendricks is a retired educator serving in numerous educational, administrative, and community-based roles throughout his career. Hendricks worked for 15 years as a teacher at the School District of Onalaska School. He then transitioned to the Sparta Area School District (SASD), where he served as an administrator and superintendent. Outside of the classroom, Hendricks has served as a longtime member of the Wisconsin Arts Board and has spent time coaching young adults with developmental disabilities. Hendricks was named to lead the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce in 2017, and in 2021, he was appointed to the SASD school board, where he is currently the vice president. A photo of Hendricks is available here, and he will serve a term ending in August 2026.

WISCONSIN DEFERRED COMPENSATION BOARD
Wisconsin Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate today voted to fire Terrance Craney from the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Board. In order to ensure the Board’s important work is not delayed or impeded, Gov. Evers immediately announced the appointment of Timothy Graham.

Timothy Graham is a retired financial consultant with over 50 years of experience. Before his retirement, he was the senior vice president of Business Finance at CUNA Mutual Group, where he worked for nearly 10 years. Graham currently serves as treasurer on the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services Board of Directors as well as a member of the Finance Committee of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. A photo of Graham is available here, and he will serve a term ending in July of 2027.


THE GOVERNOR’S COUNCIL ON DOMESTIC ABUSE

Wisconsin Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate voted today to fire Mildred Gonzales from the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse. Gonzales has served on the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse since 2021 and is the associate director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, the leading statewide coalition for advocates, attorneys, and experts working to end domestic violence in the state of Wisconsin.

Republicans’ vote to fire Gonzales comes as, in 2022, Wisconsin saw a record year for deaths from domestic violence, with 96 people losing their lives, according to a statewide report from End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. This total represents a 20 percent increase in deaths from 2021 and the highest total since End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin began reporting this data in 2000.

In order to ensure the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse’s important work is not delayed or impeded, Gov. Evers today announced he is appointing Elizabeth Lucas to replace Gonzales to serve on the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse.

Lucas has 25 years of experience working with victims of violence. Currently, Lucas is the director of the Office of Victim Services and Programs at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, a role she has held since 2020. Lucas has also worked as the community-based programs director for Horizons, A Family Service Alliance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as the victim witness coordinator at the Johnson County Attorney’s Office in Iowa City, and as the state of Wisconsin VOCA Grant Administrator at the Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of Crime Victim Services from 2013 to 2015. A photo of Lucas is available here, and she will serve a term ending July 1, 2025.

 
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