Governor Scott Walker is the only person standing between the current balance of power between the state branches of government in Madison…and the new power grabs undertaken by the Republican majority in both the Assembly and Senate.

Walker said before lawmakers voted on the legislation that he was largely open to it, but he hasn’t said what he will do since then.

“For all the talk about reining in power, it really doesn’t,” he said Monday.

So I have just one question for the governor before he signs these bills: Would you want to continue to serve as Wisconsin’s governor if both houses of the legislature were controlled by the Democrats under these new rules and restrictions?

If the answer is no, the bills should be vetoed. Will the governor take that position…not likely…but I won’t be surprised if he does use his line item veto on a thing or three.

Really, this is how Washington Republicans want to spend their lame duck session…when in deference to the late President George H. W. Bush’s funeral…they kicked the budget issue can down the road another two weeks? Don’t they want to pass a GOP budget before the Democrats take over the house in January? Really??

Wisconsinites are having trouble reaching (soon-to-be-former) Gov. Scott Walker. His office isn’t answering the phones. Maybe they’re broken 🤷‍♂️ But I’m sure he still wants to hear from you re: Republicans undermining basic democracy, so feel free to reach out to him here: Contact Form: Governor Walker

something else from our inbox today:

Statement of Alderman Tony Zielinski
December 6, 2018
The lame-duck session measures approved by the Republican-controlled state Legislature are ill-advised and I firmly oppose them.
In my view it’s never a good idea to try to govern and consolidate power by ignoring the will of voters and then capping it off by making it more difficult for citizens to exercise their right to vote. That’s adding insult to injury!
The lame-duck provisions could hurt Milwaukee and I sincerely hope Governor Walker does the right thing and vetoes them before leaving office next month.

from our inbox today:

Desperation: The Republican Legacy
Republicans Rig the Rules Following Election Losses

In an effort to undermine election results after voters resoundingly elected Democrats to every statewide office, Senate Republicans voted on a series of proposals to limit the powers of Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul.

Republicans are defiant and desperate in the wake of a new Democratic Governor and Attorney General. Rather than putting the election behind us and working with Gov.-elect Evers to improve health care, strengthen schools and fix our roads, Republican leaders have tightened their fists on more power. After these antics, the Republican legacy will be one of corruption, dishonesty, and misplaced priorities, that favor consolidating power over the issues impacting working families. The blatant disrespect for Wisconsin voters is an attempt to undermine the validity of elections that don’t go their way.

Jennifer K. Shilling
State Senator | 32nd District

when you stop laughing…and you finally catch your breath…it may behoove you to contact the governor and remind him that this pretty much screws his legacy in Wisconsin! And when you stop laughing, I realize there’s not a snow balls chance in hell that he will veto these bills…but at least put your voice out there!

Please CALL Gov Walker at 608.266.1212 or EMAIL govgeneral@wisconsin.gov and tell him to VETO SB884, SB887, and AB1070

P.S. his phone won’t get answered and Monday apparently crashed from the volume of calls…but that was actually a good sign.

a bit of an alternate take:

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Some how they made Governor Walker’s campaign pledge to protect pre-existing conditions so unpalatable to members of both sides of the aisle…that it didn’t pass this morning. Considering it is the one item that both sides agree should be done…and whose respective constituents pretty much all agree that they want…they couldn’t even get that straight. Considering the governor’s support for protecting pre-existing conditions occurred on the campaign trail as it became obvious that the citizens of Wisconsin wanted it…it is unfathomable that less than a month later they couldn’t get it done.

In another early-morning vote, state senators failed to deliver on a campaign promise from Walker to approve legislation that protecting health insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

All Democrats and two Republicans in the Senate voted against that legislation, killing a bill that passed the Assembly last year. Legislative leaders said they would try again to pass such protections early next year.

Republican Sens. David Craig of Big Bend and Chris Kapenga of Delafield joined Democrats in rejecting the legislation after the rest of the Republican caucus refused to support revisions to the bill from Craig and Kapenga that would have created a high risk-sharing insurance pool.

Most Republicans opposed the language as being too similar to the Affordable Care Act while Democratic senators voted against the bill because the legislation allowed insurers to impose lifetime caps on coverage.

Does this:

Limits early voting to two weeks. A similar limit was found unconstitutional in 2016 and Democrats have threatened to take legal action again.

Gives Republicans more say over the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., including over its enterprise zone program that gives tax breaks to individual businesses. WEDC’s board, rather than the governor, would appoint WEDC’s leader until September.

Puts lawmakers in charge of litigation, allowing them to keep alive a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare.

Gives lawmakers — instead of the attorney general — control over how court settlements are spent.

Makes it easier for lawmakers to hire private attorneys at taxpayer expense when they are accused of violating the open records law or other statutes.

Eliminates the solicitor general’s office, which oversees high-profile litigation.

Modestly lowers the state’s income tax rates next year to offset about $60 million in online sales taxes from out-of-state retailers that Wisconsin recently began collecting.

Requires Evers to get permission from lawmakers to ban guns in the state Capitol.

Bars judges from giving deference to state agencies’ interpretations of laws when they are challenged in court. That could make it easier to win lawsuits challenging how environmental regulations and other laws are being enforced.

Broadens lawmakers’ powers to block rules written by the Evers administration to implement state laws.

Requires the Evers administration to report if the governor pardons anyone or his aides release anyone from prison early.

Forces Evers to get permission from the Legislature before asking the federal government to make any changes to programs that are run jointly by the state and federal governments. That would limit the governor’s flexibility in how he runs public benefits programs. If the Legislature’s budget committee determined the administration was not implementing recent changes to those programs, it could reduce funding and staffing for state agencies.

Requires Evers to go along with a plan aimed at reducing premiums for insurance plans offered through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces for individuals.

Channels federal money into a smaller number of state road projects, so that other projects could avoid having to comply with federal environmental and wage laws.

What didn’t get accomplished?

The reason lawmakers were returning to Madison before January in the first place also didn’t make it to the floor: a tax incentive package for Fox Valley paper maker Kimberly-Clark.

The Wisconsin Republicans are feeling pretty sure of themselves verbally on one hand while running scared of Tony Evers on the other. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says:

“Listen, I’m concerned. I think that Gov.-elect Evers is going to bring a liberal agenda to Wisconsin,” Fitzgerald said at a press conference before the start of the committee meeting. “I don’t have any problem highlighting that right now. I want people to understand that. That there’s going to be a divide between the legislative and executive branch.”

No shit batman? Why do you think we had a record voting turn out on November 6th? Why do think the plurality of Wisconsin elected a clean sweep of Democrats to statewide offices? Why do you think they were willing to accept a divided state government? Because that’s what they want. Face the facts. Governor-elect Evers ran on his platform and the electorate wants that. The only people who get elected to office in Madison on a particular platform and then pull out the football at kick off time have been Republicans…primarily Governor Scott Walker, Sen. Fitzgerald and House Speaker Robin Vos. That divide you see between the legislature and executive branch just got bigger because of your actions yesterday and today. Keep in mind it was Tony Evers who wanted to find common ground…not the GOP!

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