Official statements regarding Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in Prehn

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Fred Prehn of Wausau may continue to serve on the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Board until the GOP-controlled State Senate confirms his successor. Prehn’s term expired more than a year ago.

Gov. Tony Evers released the following statement on Wednesday, regarding the Supreme Court of Wisconsin’s decision in Kaul v. Prehn:

“Today, I remind the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Republican Party of this state that we do still live in a democracy, a very basic function of which is the peaceful and respectful transfer of power, even—and most especially—when you lose.

“Since becoming governor, I’ve worked to appoint experienced, hardworking Wisconsinites from every corner of our state to serve in important roles in our government—just like every governor has before me, and every governor will after me. These Wisconsinites are exceptionally qualified, should be considered on their merit, and should have the opportunity to serve the people of our state, regardless of whether or not they were appointed by a Democrat or share the same ideas as Republicans in the Legislature. They should’ve been confirmed a long time ago now.

“Today’s decision continues to underscore the erosion of democratic institutions at the hands of Republicans in this state. It’s wrongheaded, it’s shortsighted, and it’s politics at its most dangerous.”

Senator Melissa Agard, (D) of Madison released the following statement:

“Our democracy does not work if those in the majority party are willing to shun the transitions of power that have historically been adhered to and are a part of any healthy democracy. Fred Prehn is a symptom of the disease in the anti-democracy movement of the Republican Party.

“Fred Prehn must step down from the Natural Resources Board. No Supreme Court ruling can supersede the importance of institutional norms that are vital to our democratic system of government.

“The actions of one petty, obstinate individual should never interfere and conflict with abiding by the rules that have, historically, been mutually agreed upon. When your term is up, it’s time to go. It is pathetic that my 12-year old son understands the concept of allowing the next person in line to have their turn better than Fred Prehn. At this point, Mr. Prehn’s antics have become nothing short of embarrassing.

“While Mr. Prehn can ultimately do the right thing and step down from his position, Senate Republican leadership is complicit in this anti-democratic exercise. I am calling on my Republican colleagues to confirm the Governor’s nominees – not just for the Natural Resources Board, but for all the positions in which they have failed to even hold a vote.”