[11:15 a.m. Wednesday. The State Senate passed the bill cutting absentee voting hours.]
In a state with a stalled economy, and with but roughly half the 250,000 jobs he promised to create on the books after one now fast-expiring term, Scott Walker has ID'd the state's most pressing problem:
Legalizing a suppressed vote so he can win re-election and position himself for a Presidential run:
Gov. Scott Walker says he would call lawmakers into special session to modify Wisconsin's voter photo identification requirements to conform to court rulings.
Walker told reporters during a Wisconsin Bankers Association gathering at a Madison convention center Tuesday that he sees voter ID as the most pressing election-related issue Wisconsin faces. He says he wants voter ID in place before the November elections.What a self-serving and anti-democratic use of state power.
And it's hard to miss also the back of the hand Walker aimed at the Journal Sentinel editorial board - - despite its having twice endorsed Walker for Governor - - when it urged Republicans to drop related legislation similarly designed to tamp down voting by restricting voter registration and absentee balloting:
This bill, to limit early voting hours to weekdays between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., is unnecessary and has the strong odor of partisan politics.
Republicans argue, unconvincingly, that the bill is a matter of fairness since rural areas don't have the ability, as do cities, to keep offices open long hours for absentee voting. It's nonsense. This is all about strong-arm politics...
As the law now stands, early voting is allowed for two full weeks before an election, ending on the Friday before an election.
And like voter ID, also pushed by Republicans and largely targeting minority voters, this is a bill in desperate search of a problem to fix.The State Senate will complete work on the bills Wednesday.
And Walker doesn't need and won't heed the editorial board at the state's largest paper.
He got the legitimacy he wanted through the paper's 2010 endorsement, and its 2012 reaffirmation, and now knows he can manipulate public opinion by tapping his big campaign war chest and the free and easy PR that rains down on his command from talk radio, national conservative advocacy organizations and the Journal Corporation's Right Wisconsin media platform.
The newspaper is correct to call for the rejection of the voter suppression laws, but everyone knows that Walker and his legislative allies will roll over the editorial board on this issue as they are rolling over citizen voting rights, environmental protections, public transit, Medicaid expansion and a wide range of local governmental responsibilities.
Like the editorial board, and many citizen programs and rights, Walker's just not into you anymore.