Avatar
All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Haas: Same bad lawyer, same bad advice

 

Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 18, 2019

By M.D. Kittle  

MADISON — The same speech cop who helped bring Wisconsin the infamous John Doe investigation is behind a couple of high profile bad decisions at the state Elections Commission. 

Michael Haas, lead lawyer for the elections regulator, in early 2018 said he was taking his ball and going home after the Republican-controlled Legislature canned him as interim director of the agency. His departure was characterized as a “graceful exit.”

But Haas has stuck around like a bad penny, offering some bad legal advice along the way. 

As MacIver News Service reported earlier this month, it was Haas who told Gov. Tony Evers that he could schedule a special election for U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy’s empty seat between Dec. 24 and Jan. 31. 

Turns out the timeline would have been illegal under federal elections law. Overseas and military voters must be provided ballots at least 45 days prior to an election. Haas’ timeline gave just 29 days. 

He did caution Evers’ legal team that it might not be a good idea to hold elections over the holiday season. Doing so would make time-strapped clerks cranky. 

Evers announced he would hold the special election on Jan. 27, with the primary scheduled for Dec. 30. The governor was instantly panned for scheduling the latter over the holidays and both elections on Mondays — unprecedented in a state where elections are traditionally Tuesday affairs. 

Haas reportedly also was in on the Wisconsin Election Commission’s decision to stubbornly stick to a voter-registration policy that puts voter integrity at risk. 

The commission has decided to keep registered voters who have moved on the eligible voter rolls for as long as two years. State law clearly requires “movers” be removed from the database within 30 days. 

“Any voters who do not register at their new address and do not return the continuation card within 30 days will be deactivated in WisVote,” the commission noted in a previous memo. 

Last week, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty sued the Elections Commission for violating state law. 

In a memo earlier this year, Haas and crew told the commission it has the authority to bypass the 30-day requirement in state law because another law gives the regulator a blank check to create rules necessary to maintain the voter registration list. 

That’s pretty much how Haas and his fellow speech cops operated at the Elections Commissions’ predecessor — the state Government Accountability Board. 

The Legislature disbanded the GAB in 2016 after the agency was found to be a partner in the politically driven John Doe investigation. The Wisconsin Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the abusive probe — which included predawn, armed raids on the homes of state conservatives and the collection of millions of personal communications.

While Haas has downplayed his involvement, emails obtained through lawsuits show he was a key player in the illegal investigation. 

Other courts found the GAB, which included both elections and ethics divisions, used its rule-making authority to create regulations so complicated that not even campaign finance lawyers would have a hard time understanding them. 

Haas, who came to election regulation from Democratic Party politics, announced in February 2018 that he would leave the Wisconsin Elections Commission after the Republican-controlled Senate rejected his confirmation to lead the agency.  

Haas said he planned to work temporarily as a commission attorney, but intended to “eventually leave to pursue other opportunities.” 

Nearly two years after his “graceful exit,” Haas hangs on.  

Listen to more:

Explore More
Was Rep. David Bowen party to a crime?

Was Rep. David Bowen party to a crime?

Wauwatosa’s police union president says state Rep. David Bowen’s accounts of Saturday’s “peaceful protest’ targeting embattled Officer Joseph Mensah are fabricated at best. 

Read More »

August 12, 2020
DNR’s iron mask mandate

DNR’s iron mask mandate

Preston Cole, head of the state Department of Natural Resources, recently instructed his staff that they must strictly follow Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate — even if it’s only for keeping up appearances. 

Read More »

August 12, 2020
Oregon Guv plays favorites with jobless public employees

Oregon Guv plays favorites with jobless public employees

Oregon leftist Gov. Kate Brown’s attempt to put her union pals in front of the unemployment line died in committee this week. 

Read More »

August 12, 2020
Johnson wants answers

Johnson wants answers

Sen. Ron Johnson talked about issuing subpoenas to FBI Director Christopher Wray and the committee’s efforts to get answers about the agency’s involvement in the phony Russian collusion probe. 

Read More »

August 12, 2020
All Woke Up: Lori Lightfoot wakes up?

All Woke Up: Lori Lightfoot wakes up?

It’s a nightmare for the woke when they’re forced to wake up. Welcome to radical wacko Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s world. 

Read More »

August 12, 2020
Barr on the left

Barr on the left

In an interview with Fox News’ Mark Levin over the weekend, Barr said partisan politics was tough enough in the early 1990s, but it pales in comparison to the hatred and vitriol coming out of the American left today. 

Read More »

August 11, 2020
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *