Sunday, November 3, 2019

After defeat 1 year ago, the WI GOP still exercises out-sized powers

Wednesday, Nov. 6th, is the one-year anniversary of the defeat of Scott Walker and his AG sidekick Bred Schimel by Tony Evers and Josh Kaul.

You surely remember what unfolded:

Walker never came out of his election-evening sanctuary to concede in front of his supporters.

Because he had a different idea, working with his favorite legislative hench-stooges to nurture, then roll out a package of 11th-hour, secretely-drafted, excessively-partisan, punitive and power-grabbing lame-duck laws which flew through the Assembly and Senate for his signature without a single veto - - 

- - a legislature which Republicans had earlier gerrymandered and which, so far, has been upheld when needed by a conservative State Supreme Court which had already granted itself the controversial but convenient authority to rule on cases even if a party or party involved had, as they had routinely done for GOP campaigns, donated money to the justices' campaign committees, too.

Wisconsin Republicans have shown no hesitation to change the rules to suit themselves when they have the opportunity, despite Walker's long-time DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp's laughably ironic blog (now taken down) about Democrats having done the same when science ruled the agency she and Walker dismantled: 
Just another example of the democrats game plan: Change the Rules to Fit the Players. Shout it with me, now: HYPOCRISY, THY NAME IS DEMOCRAT.
And so:

* Walker quickly gave Schimel an available judgeship - - no need to let Evers fill it in a matter of weeks after the swearing-in - - and he did the same with a seat on the Public Service Commission and across state government with more than 80 appointments, too.

*  The lame-duck rules greatly diminished the routine authority of the Attorney General, making Kaul subservient to a legislative committee controlled by GOP Majority Leader Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Vos; their repetitively breezy and pig-headed machinations since have also led to the destruction of a special legislation session on gun safety measures which Evers has called for Nov. 7th and which the GOP leaders say will be adjourned before anyone in the chamber can make a motion to proceed
Fitzgerald says vote on gun-control legislation 'not going to happen' despite special session
* Just the other day, and with some but not widespread notice,  the same legislative committee run by Republicans announced Evers could fill no new positions without a compensating position elimination.

Was Walker held to that procedure? I'd love to see what was eliminated so one of his relatively-newly designed deputy chiefs of staff could become the more-newly-named Foxconn point person housed in the Department of Administration.

* And do you remember when Walker and the GOP-legislature agreed to reclassify 37 state civil servants - - attorneys, communications officers and others - - to gubernatorial appointees across state government so he could extend GOP partisan influence deeper into state agencies? 

Imagine if Evers made a move like that!

*  Now we have another partisan, perhaps unprecedented power move launched by Fitzgerald and Vos: the probable rejection of an Evers Cabinet nominee because special interests do not like rule upgrades the nominee is making on behalf of clean air and groundwater which are entirely within the law and routine government regulatory procedures, but are opposed by the GOP's donor class.

* Headlines like this close the circle:
Wisconsin Supreme Court Sides With GOP Lawmakers To Limit Democratic Governor's Power
What's going on is the GOP's self-interested and systematic nullification of the 2018 election record which voters made.

This outcome is neither advisable, sustainable or democratic. If the losers in an election can maneuver and manipulate to remain the winners, the greater cause is lost.

Two more thoughts, with an alarm bell soundtrack:

* The stakes in the 2020 legislative elections could not be higher. It's either a Democratic sweep, or at least a flip of the GOP's 19-14 Senate majority, lest there be another gerrymander to extend for another decade the GOP's one-party, donor-driven, environmentally-destructive, power-at-all-costs rule.

* Walker is busying himself while pledged to co-chair Donald Trump's re-election bid in Wisconsin to also travel widely on behalf of a Constitutional Convention as his donors desperately want to do for to the country which he and his party have done to Wisconsin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You can bet that the GOP will conviene for their own purposes however. Watch for gratuitous bills that sound good but take power away from the Executive branch. Democrats will need to show up an vote against these bills.