Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Vos, Fitzgerald and the rise of little dictators

In Wisconsin, GOP-initiated election suppression is moving from voter ID and election-day pressures to post-election nullification.

Bear with me.

At 8:43 a.m. this morning - - a few hours after Tony Evers' gubernatorial win had been confirmed - - I posted a little blog item wondering if Republican legislative leaders would respond to the electoral heresy they witnessed on Tuesday by hurriedly rushing to restrict the powers of the incoming Governor with one-sided, self-serving and blatantly anti-democratic legislation.

Beware the post-election WI GOP monkey-wrench, I wrote:
We'll see if WI legislative Republicans begin passing sour-grapes measures in special session (s) to hamstring the incoming Democratic Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General's institutional authorities. 
Are Walker, Fitzgerald and Vos statesmen or spoilers? 
Will they calm the waters, or roil them?
And about two hours later, The Journal Sentinel published remarks from both Vos and Fitzgerald confirming that, yes indeedee, they are 'talking' about doing just that.
Vos robin.jpg
Now let me say that I am not clairvoyant or especially smart about how Republicans would probably react to their worst nightmare gaining life - - their main man getting knocked out in the 15th round by an unworthy challenger - - a Democrat and a teacher!

Actually all you'd have to do to see this sleazed-up power grab coming right at you is to look at the record and understand that this is exactly how these little tin-horn, power-addicted wannabe dictators had behaved in the past.

Do you remember when Fitzgerald wanted the Wisconsin State Patrol to arrest recalcitrant Democratic senators, drag them out of their beds to the Capitol and pass Act 10 on the schedule Republicans were demanding?

At the time, the State Patrol was run by Fitzgerald's dad, a Walker appointee. 

Leadership living the dream in FitzWalkerStan.

Republican leaders had also telegraphed their willingness to abuse their authority when they gerrymandered the Legislature:

* They used off-site computers in private attorneys' offices; some of the machines' hard drives would eventually be corrupted. 

* They required that secrecy oaths be signed before GOP-only colleagues could get a peek at draft district maps drawn to ensure easy GOP election wins through constituencies, streets and addresses hand-picked to their liking. 

* All paid for by taxpayers, many of whom the gerrymandering would screw out of fair representation, and who may now again see some of the value of the votes they just cast for Governor taken away after Republicans lost a race they could not help rig with gerrymandering.

I'd expect Vos and Fitzgerald, after getting an approving wink from Walker - - no memos or messy Open Records trails, please - - will follow through, presumably trimming back or altogether eliminating some of the powers they so enthusiastically showered on Walker because they trusted him to use them to get donor/special interests the reliable, fast and targeted room service to which they felt entitled.

Powers set up for Walker to sell with only token checks and balances any state asset, or to manipulate powerful administrative and agency rules which have the power of law - - examples, here  and here - - which up until this point GOP officials and their clients had considered a simple extension of the bought-and-paid-for corporate state they had put in Walker's trust-worthy hands.

I have no idea if Evers intends to sell any state assets, or wants to take more control of the rule-making process. That's not the point.

What's at stake is the likelihood that Republicans would begin moving within hours of the election to humiliate and disable a new Governor before he's sworn in.

Running the Legislature and having a State Supreme Court that still eats out of the GOP's collective greased palm and grubby hand isn't enough for these power-hungry Republicans and their lame duck defeated Governor who all want to stack the deck against Evers before the cards are dealt.

The ultimate fix to this embrace of legislative trickery is for Evers, through a veto, to force the Republicans' next gerrymander into Federal court, where perhaps an honest re-districting in the name of fair elections will send Fitzgerald and Vos finally into retirement.

Where they can freely accept comped seats at Walker's rubber-chicken lecture series 'How we screwed Wisconsin taxpayers and unions for fun and profit.'


Minnesconsin Tom said...

A totally predictable move by the GOP, but let’s get straight to the point of why they are doing this. It’s not Evers they are afraid of. It’s the fact that, as of January, a young, charismatic, progressive black man from Milwaukee will be a heartbeat from the governorship. They’re practically soiling their pants.

Anonymous said...

Your article is right on. They showered Walker with expanded powers and now suddenly see the flip side of the coin. These powers should be taken back but how can anyone trust the current crooks in office to do that?

Another example is the REINS Act which put control of all agency rule making into the DOA and Governor's office. That may be one of the first rules to go. It was written to "ensure that elected officials are able to hold state agencies accountable and give necessary oversight to rules that affects businesses and Wisconsinites."

Here is a link to the excellent Kathleen Vinehout's explanation:

Anonymous said...

Right now,

Right now,

Right now it's time to...KICK OUT THE JAMS MOTHERFUCKERS!

Kick Out The Jams Original Uncensored Version 1968

Paul Berge said...

Vosgerald are on the phone with the North Carolina Republicans as we speak.