Nass: Hypocrite, Law Breaker?

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University of Wisconsin-obsessed Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) launched a laughable attack yesterday against the UW and Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson because an internship with Abrahamson’s campaign was on the UW Law School website.

Nass said this was misuse of taxpayer funds and by god, he wants justice. He wants answers. Funny, but we found out Nass said nothing when a similar call for election interns by the Republican Party of Wisconsin was sent out to the entire UW-Madison political science student body. Yep. Not a word from Nass.

Sounds like Nass should explain to taxpayers why he’s using his taxpayer-funded office to attack a candidate for office when he previously failed to attack the Republican Party of Wisconsin for the exact same behavior. This selective attack raises serious concerns that this was nothing more than Nass using his taxpayer-financed office to campaign against a candidate.

Sounds like something for the Government Accountability Board to investigate. 

On August 25, 2008, an email was sent to all UW-Madison students in the political science department requesting interns for the Republican Party of Wisconsin to “gain valuable political experience while getting involved in this year’s heated presidential election.” The UW has traditionally allowed communications for internships at political parties and with candidates and organizations as a valuable career-building tool.

Nass was a bully the entire time he chaired the Assembly committee overseeing higher education. No one is sorry to see him out of power and few would weep (and taxpayers would save a couple bucks) if the U and W keys were retired from his office computer.

This latest Nass salvo is another attempt to bully students into staying away from the political process. If he feels so strongly about keeping students away from politics, he ought to contact UW-Whitewater and tell them to take his name down from their own internship listing.

Oh yeah, his office is listed on the UW-Whitewater site as an internship opportunity. Wonder if this was still posted while he was up for re-election.

Here’s the link: http://www.uww.edu/cls/departments/political_science/internships/

A final and important point: there’s nothing wrong with UW posting this kind of information for students. It’s been done forever and has been open to candidates, parties and organizations. Internships can be rewarding and valuable and OWN has had numerous UW interns, all of whom have been insightful, professional and diligent.

And if any progressive UW students are interested in researching issues facing the state and want an internship — contact One Wisconsin Now’s intern hotline at 608-204-0677.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.