Saturday, August 29, 2020

Gov. Evers seeks policing-reform special session; WI GOP prefers its 'sabotage-Evers' agenda'

8/29/2020 update (from 8/26/2020): WI State Senate will not take up Evers' proposals. Says Fitzgerald's Chief of Staff: 
The state Senate won't take votes Monday on the special session bills introduced by Gov. Tony Evers following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.
"It is just a skeletal session where the special session is gaveled in," said Fitzgerald chief of staff Dan Romportl. "Senators do not need to be present, and no bills are being taken up."
Better summary: WI GOP flips off Milwaukee Bucks players, others
In the wake of the near-fatal fusillade of gunshots fired point blank into Jacob Blake's back by a Kenosha police officer, WI Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has asked the GOP-controlled State Legislature to convene in special session to take up a package of police reform measures.

Don't look to Republicans to do anything with this offering unless that means kicking him really hard underneath the table.

In fact, a GOP State Senator had already dumped on Evers' call for legislative action on policing reforms that predated the Kenosha shooting.

The WI GOP's obstruct-evers strategy imitates the reflexive "no" laid down by GOP US Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell against anything Barack Obama tried to do.

WI GOP Assembly Speaker and lead Evers' saboteur Robin Vos put it this way -  #never - when blocking Evers' call for accepting Medicaid funding which would have helped low-income Wisconsinites obtain routine medical care, access opioid treatment and deal with sudden gaps in medical insurance caused by the pandemic's attack on employment.

For another thing, GOP Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is busy with his 'campaign' in a safe seat he helped preserve through gerrymandering, and GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has already announced a classic do-nothing-diversionary move to cripple Evers' pitch that is as old as representative government itself: the formation of a task force.

That's the spineless politician's equivalent of giving a packet of 'plant-next-year' seeds to a person starving to death right before your eyes.

A few reminders on this matter of the GOP-led Legislature refusing to concede through any action that Gov. Evers is the legitimate Wisconsin Chief Executive who beat Scott Walker, the once-and-former-Governor-for-Life who is still behaving with the help of fawning media as if he hadn't actually lost the 2018 election:

* In late July it was noted that it had been 100 days since the GOP-controlled Legislature had met.

Well, another month has gone by, and, you guessed it: there still have been do-any-business sessions. 

I guess that's because nothing much is going on that might interest normal, problem-solving legislative problem-solvers - except that there have been 71,493 confirmed Wisconsin cases of COVID-19 and 1,094 deaths in just a few months.

* And remember when GOP legislative leaders bellyached that mean ol' Gov. Evers wouldn't give them a seat at the COVID-19 policy-making table?


They didn't want a seat at the table. They wanted to kick back in their recliners with a sneer and a beer and heckle amid the chaos they caused, as Matt Rothschild had written:
When they petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court on April 21 to hear their challenge to the extension, Vos and Fitzgerald wrote that “the Legislature, through its Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules,” should have “a seat at the table.” 
But they aren’t just seeking any old seat. They want the throne! 
As they put it, they want “the opportunity to review Emergency Order 28 and suspend it.”
* Also: A month ago, Evers called the Legislature into special session to consider a package of gun safety measures which have broad public support, like expanded background checks. 

The only thing special about that session was the speed measured in seconds with which GOP legislative leaders closed the meetings and took no action.

* The same GOP leaders also had no interest in meeting in special session to adapt the April election to then-emerging COVID-19 hazards.

* After all, the GOP legislature did not respond to Evers' invitation last winter to work on funding for homeless assistance, had hurriedly cut Evers' powers after he defeated GOP incumbent Gov. Scott Walker - 

- and successfully petitioned the right-wing dominated State Supreme Court to overturn the Evers' administration's data-and-public-heath-driven extension  emergency COVID-19 prevention plan.

* Note also that the same right-wing law firm which argued the Legislature's case against Evers' emergency 'Safer-at-Home' order's extension has just filed another suit to overturn Evers' statewide order that masks be worn inside buildings - even though science shows that, worn correctly, masks are proven a method of stemming virus transmission.

You'd think demonizing the wearing of simple masks that prevent deadly viral particles from being coughed or sneezed on innocent bystanders could not possibly move send right-wingers on another virus-enabling litigating errand, but then you can't must grasp how strongly the far-right here vilifies science and  prioritizes partisan power over preventative medicine:
...the GOP campaign against Evers' legitimacy...began with the lame-duck power grab after Evers beat GOP Gov. Scott Walker fair-and-square.

And because Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald has refused to schedule a confirmation hearing for still-acting Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm - - and after already firing Evers pick for Ag Secretary for refusing to kiss Fitzgerald's ring - - these unprincipled GOP 'leaders' misfits are now further undermining Evers and Palm by openly talking about firing her - - in the middle of an unprecedented public health disaster....
Vos even called her a "lackey." Look at her credentials.
Given all this history, anyone who thinks the GOP-run Legislature has any interest in meeting now about policing reform - or any other Evers' initiative - still doesn't understand that the WI GOP's overriding goal is to obstruct and humiliate Evers, not validate him through meaningful cooperative.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Mr. Rowen. The Rs were running around in a frenzy on Wednesday trying their best to distract from both their inaction on multiple crises for over 100 days and Kenosha police/amateur militia shootings, while supporting the dark RNC story line. Most egregious were assertions based on a POTUS tweet that the Governor should have/already had acquiesced to Portland-style federal intervention. Nope. Recommend paying attention to WI Nat Guard commander Maj Gen Knapp's clarifying contribution to yesterday's Kenosha news conference as to the mechanics of receiving assistance from other states'guardsmen and women who would be integrated under his command. Knapp: "I don't worry about the President's tweets."

Attitudes and behaviors of others at that press conference need to be heard to be believed.

P.S. Waiting with bait breath for Speaker Vos to emerge from an armored police vehicle on Kenosha Streets after dark, decked out in full body armor to declare the GOP has guaranteed everyone's safety.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Snot Walker...did anyone see him with Anderson Cooper? When he was asked some difficult questions about Trump and the coronavirus, Snot walked up to the camera and switched it off. Wow, what a man.

Actually, this is a favorite trick of cultists and people that are doing something shady. The GOP is guilty of both.

Anonymous said...

It would also be instructive for the national media reporting about Kenosha to actually describe the checkered history of Kenosha with more accuracy. The honest facts show a long history of being fairly cozy with the organized crime element of Chicago. Kenosha has far more similarity to Chicago and its' 'burbs than it does to Milwaukee, Madison, Racine etc. Kenosha corruption has been blatant for decades and a "white is right" mentality there is nothing new. That is being honest. People need to stop being afraid to say it. A good example of how this lack of understanding the actual circumstances of an area was on full display on Friday evening in a very ignorant segment by Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. He was talking about Kenosha and how the county voted for Obama but then he said that "local" Congressman Paul Ryan was a Republican. Not only did Kornacki totally fail to note that the district is heavily gerrymandered but anybody who actually lives here would hardly describe Paul Ryan as being "local" to Kenosha. Janesville and Kenosha are very different as we know.