If you want to see what Republican lawmakers really think about voters, look no further than their attempt to steal power from incoming Democrats in Wisconsin, while also trying to limit voters’ rights.
On Nov. 6, WI voters chose Democrats in every statewide race, including for the offices of governor and attorney general. Republican Gov. Scott Walker was ousted in the process. Now, GOP state lawmakers in a lame-duck session are trying to force through a series of bills to limit the powers of Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers and incoming Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul.
The state lawmakers announced the package of bills on Friday. They plan to hold a single hearing on the proposals on Monday, and then quickly move to a vote on Tuesday. Wisconsinites should be outraged.
In addition to limiting the powers of some of Wisconsin’s key newly elected leaders, Republican lawmakers hope to restrict early voting; change the 2020 presidential primary election date to ensure a far-right justice remains on the state’s Supreme Court; block the governor-elect from fulfilling a pledge to withdraw the state from a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act; and replace the attorney general with taxpayer-funded private lawyers chosen by GOP lawmakers in cases involving state laws.
This latter move aims at protecting GOP gerrymandering, which previously gave them control of both chambers of the state legislature (along with the state Supreme Court and the governorship).
Republicans also want more control of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the state’s job-creation agency, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
And in case it wasn’t clear enough what their intentions are, GOP lawmakers want to block the incoming governor from making it easier for people to vote and from banning guns in the Capitol.
At their core, many of the proposals are blatantly undemocratic, and some may be unconstitutional.
“I’ve said all along I’m committed to working across the aisle, but I will not tolerate attempts to violate our constitutional checks and balances and separation of powers by people who are desperate to cling to control,” Evers said in a statement reported by the Milwaukee Independent.
“Enough is enough. Republicans have to stop putting politics before people. Wisconsinites demanded a change on November 6th. I stand with the people of Wisconsin, and we will be taking any steps necessary to prevent power-hungry politicians from overriding the will of the people,” he added.
State Senate and Assembly Democratic leaders Jennifer Shilling and Gordon Hintz called the tactic “an unprecedented abuse of power,” the Independent reported.
“In Wisconsin, right now, the GOP has total control: the governorship, both chambers of the state legislature, and a majority on the Supreme Court. That’s one big reason why Trump won WI in 2016—because they’d rigged the rules. Now they want to prevent Dems from unrigging them,” MoveOn.org’s Ben Wikler tweeted in a must-read thread posted below.
In response, opponents of the GOP power grab are calling on people to “Pack the Capitol” on Monday during a Joint Finance Committee hearing starting at 12:30 p.m. local time. Later, a rally is scheduled for the steps of the state Capitol building in Madison.
Read this entire thread: