The voluble leader of a liberal group that has gained national attention as a foil to Wisconsin Republicans announced Wednesday he is leaving his post.
The move by One Wisconsin Now executive director Scot Ross comes amid a high point for the organization, which in recent months has witnessed the departure of former Republican Gov. Scott Walker and won two significant legal challenges: one invalidating limits on early voting in the state’s lame-duck law and another deeming unconstitutional attempts by Republican lawmakers to block the group on Twitter.
“I had the best job in Wisconsin politics because I got to deal with the best people in Wisconsin politics,” Ross said in a statement. “One Wisconsin Now and Institute led the way for progressives on research, communications and rapid response.”
Ross joined OWN in 2007, and during his tenure helped grow the progressive organization’s donor base and online support network. Ross also helped the organization gain clout among the news media, with the group being cited in more than 15,000 news stories.
Among its many activities, the group has spread awareness on student debt and the influence of Milwaukee’s conservative Bradley Foundation, filed several lawsuits against Wisconsin Republicans and conducted opposition research.
OWN was heavily active during the 2018 gubernatorial campaign, gathering public records on Walker’s use of the state plane and criticizing him for what the group said was an abuse of taxpayer dollars.
One of the group’s most significant legal victories was in 2016, when a federal judge struck down limits imposed by Republicans on in-person absentee voting that OWN and Citizen Action of Wisconsin argued were unfair to minority voters.
Conservatives have decried Ross’ sometimes vulgar comments on social media criticizing Republicans and the media using sexual innuendos.
Ross said he plans to work in the private sector, but declined to provide further detail. He said his successor will be named in the near future.