The Green Bay Press Gazette is reporting that the City of Green Bay will have to spend more money by going to federal court next month. The lawsuit was filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and 14 area residents at the end of last year. It involves a religious display that City Council President Chad Fradette installed at city hall just before the holidays. The city’s own lawyer is arguing that Fradette didn’t even have the authority to put up the display, but he did and now the taxpayers of Green Bay have to spend scarce resources in federal court. One commenter at the paper’s site was probably the most accurate in describing Fradette’s actions as little more than a “political stunt.”
The federal court case that Chad Fradette has dragged the City of Green Bay into is not the only time that he has pulled a political stunt that didn’t turn out very good. Recently, Fradette held an event at a Green Bay gas station where he gave drivers cash after they filled their tanks. The problem with this stunt was apparently obvious to everyone except the clueless Fradette – that it could be seen as an attempt to buy votes. The state Government Accountability Board (GAB) unanimously declared that Fradette’s actions were impermissible and wrong. If you care about ethics and accountability, this is hardly a good sign.
If the past is any indication, we can expect more wacky antics from Chad Fradette in the coming months. Is this the result of youth and inexperience or an emerging and troubling pattern of disregard for the people? Whatever it is, hopefully his next stunt will not result in legal bills for taxpayers or additional scoldings from those that enforce ethics in Wisconsin.