MADISON — Tony Evers doesn’t need no stinking laws.
At least the ones that don’t fit his liberal political purposes.
On Sunday, the Democrat suggested on WISN-TV’s UpFront that the law doesn’t really matter when it comes to his effort to get the conservative chairman of the Department of Natural Resources Board removed from the policy-setting panel.
“At the end of the day, this should be about common sense. We shouldn’t have to worry about someone not leaving when their term is over.” Evers said. “I just hope that we can resolve this as soon as possible. It’s embarrassing for everybody, and frankly, it’s embarrassing for the state of Wisconsin.”
In short, he shouldn’t have to worry about the law.
What’s embarrassing is a governor sworn to uphold the constitution and state law acting so lawlessly. His fellow executive branch Democrat, Attorney General Josh Kaul, is just as bad.
Kaul is appealing his failed lawsuit attempting to remove Dr. Fred Prehn from a conservative-led DNR board that has infuriated Evers and environmental extremists even as the attorney general’s assistants claim to represent the board in wolf hunt lawsuits. Prehn is chairman, appointed by Evers’ Republican predecessor, Scott Walker. Kaul is conflicted, and the highly partisan attorney general is acting in defiance of the law.
A Dane County judge last month rejected Kaul’s lawsuit to remove Prehn, who has remained on the board months after his term ended. Prehn has successfully argued he doesn’t need to vacate the post until the Republican-controlled state Senate confirms his successor, nominated by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
Dane County Circuit Court Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn agreed with Prehn, citing a previous Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling — Thompson v. Gibson — which found a state auditor could remain in his position until his successor was confirmed.
“Accordingly, the Court is bound by the holding of Thompson v. Gibson to conclude that there is no vacancy in the Board seat,” Bailey-Rihn wrote in her ruling.
Kaul has said he will appeal the liberal judge’s decision.
Prehn has remained on the board because of DNR’s constant overreach and failure to follow the law, according to board Vice Chairman Gregory Kazmierski.
“It’s really scary stuff to me,” Kazmierski said.
Evers’ DNR last week defied its board again, dramatically scaling back the number of wolves hunters are allowed to harvest in the upcoming fall season. In August, the board approved a limit of 300 wolves, 170 more than DNR biologists had recommended.
None of this should come as a surprise. Evers has routinely defied state law and court decisions to force his agenda and to unconstitutionally extend his authority during the pandemic.
Recently, Evers told reporters that county and municipal clerks should get “lawyered up” as they face questions and records requests from lawmakers and special investigators looking into the many questionable activities surrounding November’s presidential election.