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Gov. Evers Slams Senate Republicans for firing more of his appointees, immediately appointments replacements

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers today slammed Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate for once again voting to baselessly fire four of the governor’s appointees, respectively, to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) and University of Wisconsin (UW) Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board. Senate Republicans have now baselessly rejected 13 of the governor’s appointees, including, last month, firing Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) Commissioner Tyler Huebner.

“Unfortunately, with these legislative Republicans, bipartisanship and common sense always seem to take two steps forward and two steps back, and that trend continued today when Senate Republicans took up yet another group of exceptionally qualified citizen appointees and fired them for simply doing their jobs,” said Gov. Evers. “I am endlessly grateful for the time, energy, and expertise of these individuals who’ve answered the call to serve their people of our state, and I’m disappointed their public service was cut short today for no reason other than petty, partisan politics. While today’s decision is a disappointment, I know that the individuals who are taking up these positions will similarly perform to the highest standards of public service Wisconsinites expect.” 

Republicans’ refusal to confirm Gov. Evers’ appointments represents 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 even baselessly fire individuals who may not share their political beliefs or who dare to publicly disagree with them.    

Wisconsin Republicans have consistently refused to confirm Gov. Evers’ appointees, leaving them unconfirmed for months—even years—without any regard for individuals’ professional experience and background, including public members of various boards and commissions volunteering their personal time, experience, and expertise to serve the state of Wisconsin and previously received bipartisan support.  

Senate Republicans have baselessly rejected 13 of the governor’s appointees, including, last month, firing Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) Commissioner Tyler Huebner. Additionally, Senate Republicans, last October, rejected seven of the governor’s appointees, respectively, to the NRB, Wisconsin Elections Commission, Wisconsin Medical Examining Board, and the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse, citing little to no justification for doing so—a move criticized by members of the Republican Senate caucus. Apart from those who have been explicitly rejected, according to data compiled by the governor’s office and the Legislative Reference Bureau, at the start of Gov. Evers’ second term, nearly 180 individuals appointed by the governor to lead state agencies and serve on various boards and commissions had not been confirmed.  

To ensure there is no disruption or delay in the ongoing work of these important bodies as a result of Senate Republicans’ decision to fire appointees, Gov. Evers today announced immediate successors to fill these critical roles on the NRB and UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board.  


WISCONSIN NATURAL RESOURCES BOARD
 

Wisconsin Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate today voted to fire Todd Ambs from the NRB. In order to ensure the NRB’s important work is not delayed or impeded, Gov. Evers immediately announced the appointment of Deb Dassow. Dassow taught for nearly 40 years as a social studies and world studies teacher at Port Washington High School. Dassow’s initial interest in natural resources and the environment started as a student at UW-Stevens Point. She has previously been a member of environmental and conservation organizations like the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust and the Sierra Club, and she is an alternate on the Region 10 Wisconsin Education Association Council. A photo of Dassow is available here, and she will serve a term ending May 1, 2029.  


UW HOSPITALS AND CLINICS AUTHORITY BOARD  

Wisconsin Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate today voted to fire three of Gov. Evers’ appointments to the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board, including former State Rep. Sondy Pope, Candice Owley, and former Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton.   In order to ensure the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board’s important work is not delayed or impeded, Gov. Evers immediately announced three new appointments, including former State Rep. Deb Kolste, Ryan Neibauer, and former State Rep. Donna Seidel.

Kolste served as the representative for the 44th Assembly District in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 2013 to 2021. Kolste served on the Assembly Committee on Health throughout the entirety of her time in the Legislature and served as the ranking Democrat on the committee in the 2015-16, 2017-18, and 2019-20 legislative sessions. Additionally, Kolste is a trained medical technologist, and she and her husband, a medical doctor, started a medical clinic together in Kansas. In Janesville, she worked at Mercyhealth, in addition to being actively involved with the School District of Janesville as a member of the school board, including serving as president for one year. Kolte also currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Rock County Board of Health. A photo of Kolste is available here, and she will serve a term ending July 1, 2027. 

Neibauer is the political director at IBEW Local 494 and marketing advisory committee member for Milwaukee Electrical JATC. Neibauer has worked with many labor unions and advocacy groups over his career, including AFL-CIO, AFSCME, and the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, among many others. A photo of Neibauer is available here, and he will serve a term ending July 1, 2025.  

Seidel served as the representative for the 85th Assembly District in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 2005 to 2013. She received her Bachelor of Science from UW-Stevens Point. Prior to being elected, Seidel worked as a police officer as well as an investigator for her local district attorney’s office. A photo of Seidel is available here, and she will serve a term ending July 1, 2026.  

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