Saturday, December 1, 2018

WI GOP lame-duck authoritarians want Dem winners to be their interns

[Updated] So now we know what Walker's henchmen in the GOP-controlled Legislature meant by a few minor, reasonable tweaks after the Walker governorship was defeated by the voters.

They're not just changing the rules in the middle of the game; they're tossing the rules - - even the concepts of rules or reasonable permanence and tradition - - after they lost the game to allow themselves a tighter grip on the privileges of winning.

Not merely by tilting a 2020 State Supreme Court election by playing with the schedule. 

Not merely by removing early voting days by up to a month as local communities had chosen to establish them to make sure they 'win' elections the next time, or making sure fewer ballots are cast by further embedding voter ID requirements that have been cited in court proceedings as barriers which many thousands of voters could not overcome.

No -- - Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald - - 
Picture of Representative Robin Vos
with a green light from the defeated Scott Walker - - are bent on using a 141-page omnibus bill to nullify the fundamental change that voters unambiguously declared on November 6th by turning the fair-and-square winners - - Tony Evers, Mandela Barnes and Josh Kaul  - into virtual four-year clerks who will work for legislators and committees stacked with GOP appointees committed to killing the Democrats' agenda before it can get introduced - - as the Journal Sentinel notes:

The legislation is wide-ranging and would limit Evers’ power in a host of ways. His agencies would have less freedom to run their programs...
The power of the incoming attorney general also would be greatly diminished. 
The Legislature — not the attorney general — would have control of how to spend money from court settlements. The recently created office of the solicitor general, which oversees high-profile litigation, would be eliminated.
Legislators would gain the power to intervene in any litigation when a state law is challenged, and they would have the ability to appoint their own private attorneys — at taxpayer expense — to handle the case instead of the attorney general...
Legislators would also have the ability to sign off on court settlements.
In another change that has broad implications for the lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act, the Legislature’s budget committee — rather than the governor —would get to decide whether to continue or drop legal actions. 
Just the latest iteration of GOP word play. Vos and Fitzgerald were saying all they had in mind was a little 'inside baseball,' some 'reasonable' lame-dick session tweaks.

What they were planning was a 141-page omnibus statutory rebellion, a rewrite of state government that no voter asked them to submit.

Remember when Walker called his Act 10 bomb merely some "modest, modest" proposals?

Are they democracy's stewards, or its saboteurs? Now they have answered the question, and their interest in political stewardship is as contaminated as has been their eight-year polluted stewardship of Wisconsin land, water and clean air.

I'd been warning about this impending GOP power grab soon after the November ballots had been counted, and continued to post my concerns as Walker pretended he hadn't really lost and his legislative allies began to minimize and hide what they had in mind.

And as late as Friday I was still underestimating the Republican arrogance, self-absorption and contempt for a democracy in place here since 1848.

I know there are some Republicans in the State Senate who know this is wrong, that this is not why they took their oath and collect a salary paid by all the people and come to work for the people in The People's House. 

Luther Olsen knows this is wrong. 

Robert Cowles knows this is wrong. 

They and a few others are going to have to have Profiles in Courage moments, or the democracy here based on the public deciding the basics in fair elections will be voided if a small group of insiders gets away with huddling behind closed doors after the votes have been counted and vindictively changing the outcome.

Not by shredding ballots or digitally erasing votes, but by further corrupting the political landscape through misuse of the people's legislative processes to put in a fix.

It's good to learn that people will gather at the State Capitol steps in Madison on Monday at 5:30 p.m. to protest the GOP's heist of the election.

But everyday people who have already done their ballot-box civic duty should not have to do anything at that hour on a Monday evening except unwind after work or school, walk the dog, fix dinner, play with the kids or get ready for a late shift.

Why does every waking moment in America and especially in Wisconsin turn into another necessary active affirmation to stop another authoritarian politician who keeps coming like The Terminator for our rights?

Shame on these Republican 'leaders' for putting their grasping self-service and special-interest slavishness above the will of the people. 


Allen said...

We need to tie this to current Michigan legislation and what was done in North Carolina. These cookie cutter legislations are pre planned by ALEC opperatives and pushed by the nefarious AFP/Bradley/Mercer crowd.

Anonymous said...

This legislation wouldn't be coming forward if Fitz didn't have the votes.

Joan d said...

There is a public hearing Monday at 12:30 p.m. please testify or send your comments against this power grab to your representative.