One of the irritations that occurs with politicians, from time-to-time, concerns resignations taking place shortly after winning an election to the office they so earnestly campaigned. Wisconsin is being treated to one of those stories with the resignation of State Representative John Nygren. He won his re-election just over a months ago. But like a raccoon who found something more sparkling the conservative Republican is jumping from one object to another. In this case, leaving the taxpayers with a bill.
When I learn of stories like this, be they about a person serving in the statehouse or a local school board member, it does raise concern. It costs money to hold elections (as in the case of a legislator), and with prompt resignations after balloting it underscores how it short-circuited the process where candidates and issues have more visibility in general elections.
Therefore I was most pleased to read a Letter to the Editor to the Oconto County Reporter which was submitted by one of my readers. I post it in its entirety as it not only reflect my views but needs to be read by others who know this type of practice must be called out.
I see John Nygren, R-Marinette, resigned his seat in the Wisconsin Assembly. In November of 2018, Nygren asked the voters of his district for a two-year term. He is quitting before fulfilling that obligation. In November of 2020, Nygren again asked voters to hire him for a new two year term. And he broke his word again. Future employers take note. Obviously Nygren has no sense of loyalty or of fulfilling his commitments.
Although the citizens of the district may be better served with an empty chair in the Assembly Chambers.
There oughta be a law. If a legislator asks for a full term and resigns for any reason other than serving is a detriment to their health, the cost of a special election comes out of their retirement fund.
Even if the replacement primary for his seat occurs in February, many municipalities in the district won’t have anything else on the ballot. Incurring extra costs. If the primary is in April and the general in May, another special election cost for local governments.
Be a man John, pay for the costs you incur.
P.S. No Wisconsin legislator will resign for health reasons. They have the proverbial “Cadillac” health care plan. They don’t have to claim/use sick days like other state employes. And they get paid, whether they show up for work or not.