Boots & Sabers

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0642, 04 Dec 18

Legislature has a full plate for the holidays

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online today. In it, I offer some opinion on some of the proposals being offered in the Wisconsin legislature’s extraordinary session. Pick up a copy to read the whole thing!

This week the Wisconsin Legislature will begin an extraordinary session as its final act before a new Legislature takes its place next year. The political backdrop of this session is that while the Republicans will retain firm control of both houses of the Legislature next year, the voters elected Democrats to every statewide office. An era of divided government is about to begin.

In anticipation of this new era, Republican leaders in the Legislature have introduced a slew of proposals designed to secure the successes of the past few years and put some protections in place to safeguard the state from overreaches from the Executive Branch. The proposals run the gamut from simply codifying rules that are already in place, absorbing recent court rulings into statute, pulling power back into the legislative branch and changing how elections work. A few of the proposals are more interesting than the rest.


While every proposal must be evaluated on its own merits, almost every one of the proposals should be passed by the Legislature and signed into law by outgoing Gov. Scott Walker. The conservative revolution in Wisconsin has come to an end. Now it is time for Republicans to protect the gains we made.


0642, 04 December 2018


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Let’s get ‘er done!

  2. jjf

    Extraordinary writing!  How did you do it?  You managed to avoid all the real reasons that Fitz and Vos mentioned!  Carry that water!  Show your fidelity!

  3. jonnyv

    This is why lame duck sessions should be eliminated. After the election there should be 2 weeks of cleaning out your desk and NOTHING else allowed. The voters of WI voted based on 1 set of rules and laws. And upon losing, the republicans are working to change those rules. This should have been done BEFORE the election to allow the voters to make a more informed decision.

    This is clearly not the “will of the people”. This is one side scrambling to try and keep the changes they implemented before losing power.

    It is honestly shameful, but not unexpected. But, the worst part IMO is them trying to limit early voting. What HARM is done by allowing voters more time to vote? Other than they know that a majority of early voting is done in larger democratic areas. And they guise this as “equality with rural areas”. Total BS. Increase the rural areas if you have issues. Odds are this will be challenged and it will be overturned (AGAIN).

  4. Pat

    Changing the rules as you head out the door proves that the Republicans are sore losers.

    The nation is watching and shaking its head in disbelief.

  5. dad29

    Increase the rural areas if you have issues.

    You’ll pay for that expense, right?  After all the screeching from the Usual Suspects about a paltry $7 million, you’re now willing to require about $20 million in expenses to run 12 weeks’ extra election time statewide.

    Go ahead.  Have another idea.

  6. dad29

    This is clearly not the “will of the people”.

    Yup.  19 (R), 14 (D), and a 66/33 (or thereabouts) split in the Assembly.

    That’s the actual will of the people.  Stick that in your pipe, jack.

  7. jonnyv

    dad29, pretty simple for the extra time. Base it off of population. The higher the population, the more time there is to vote. After all, it requires more resources the greater it is. Wautoma doesn’t need 12 weeks, maybe they only need 3. It should come out of each county’s budget anyway. If the county is willing to spend more money for more time, then so be it. Leave it up to them.

    But, acting like all counties are equal make ZERO sense.

  8. dad29

    I like your ‘population’ thing.  We already have that:  lotsa polling places in Milwaukee, not so many in Elm Grove, (etc.)

    Cut it back to ONE day:  election day, plus the usual absentee votes.

    You’re right.  That works best.

  9. dad29

    Somehow, you forgot to respond to the results of the Legislative elections.  Maybe you just forgot about it?  The people have spoken, right??

  10. Le Roi du Nord


    And the will of the people was for Evers and Kaul, right?  walker, fitz and vos are the poster children for sore losers.  But no one should be surprised, as they were pretty poor winners , too.

  11. jonnyv

    dad29, you can just admit it… the Republicans goal is to make it as hard as they can to vote in high population areas. I am kinda shocked the republicans don’t just say, “Gosh, you have so many voting machines in Milwaukee, maybe some of those should go to Tomah to make it more even.” And make it even more difficult to vote.

    And as far as not addressing your “will of the people” comment.  Yes, the people elected a person based on a set of known variables and job duties. And upon that vote, the legislature is changing the job after the people have voted. It subverts the will of the people.

  12. jjf

    Well, I guess the WisGOP showed Evers what’s what!

    Surely now he’ll just sign anything they propose in the years ahead.

  13. dad29

    Actually, jonnv, the legislature–a duly elected group representing the will of the people–can change the job duties (within the limits of the Constitution) any time at all, so long as the Governor signs the legislation.  And Walker, IIRC, is the Governor.

    So your job is to elect a majority (D) legislature and fix it.  You have another crack at it in only 2 years.


    And by the way, Milwaukee’s early-and-often voting scheme included lots of machines in lots of locations.  Wouldn’t surprise me if those machines were right next to Xerox machines.

  14. jjf

    Come on, Dad29, tell us your full conspiracy theory as to how that kind of fraud could happen.  Who’s in on it?  How do they do it?

  15. Merlin

    Did y’all really think that there wouldn’t be any retribution for the Democrat’s constant gutter warfare since Walker was elected?

    Those obnoxious demonstrations in Madison, the flee-bagger legislator antics, the expensive recalls, and the constant legal challenges to every piece of legislation passed has come with a price. The “resistance movement” attempt to nullify the elected Republican governance that Wisconsin Democrats have been so proud of has come back to bite them in the ass. Hard.

    Quit bitching about how crowded the gutter has become. You really should hope the Republicans don’t give as good as they got, because you certainly don’t want to be repaid in kind.

  16. jjf

    Retribution?  Which Federalist paper discusses that ideal?

    They had a majority.  They could show us their true nature, and did.

    Small government my arse!  This is all about power.

  17. jonnyv

    dad29, you may want to look at the NC GOP for those kind of antics. The GOP here just uses voter fraud as some sort of scare tactic.

    I love your mentality. “Well, maybe you should win in 2 years so my side doesn’t do shady underhanded shit.”  Rather than hold your side accountable for things that clearly are exclusively being used to maintain control at any cost.

    Which is why they should eliminate the Lame Duck session completely. I don’t trust either side with this. The republicans just continue to prove that they are not TRULY a party of small gov’t and fiscal responsibility.

  18. dad29

    look at the NC GOP for those kind of antics.

    There is NOTHING illegal about having a Republican witness the votes of nursing-home residents.  In fact, the Democrats invented that technique.

    CNN doesn’t like it.  Who cares what CNN “thinks”?

  19. MHMaley

    Short term power preservation nakedly undertaken will yield long term problems for the GOP.

    If “it legal “ is the rationalization for a party that bills itself as principled , the voters have a way of slowly catching on.

    They did in the last election , putting Tammy back into office in a rout and electing Tony E- the most charismatically challenged candidate in America against a term term Governor with nothing but good news for the Public .

    Gerrymandering will slow up the local process but the elections of Senators in Wisc , Michigan and PA in walkovers and Dem Governors in those states make the president a probable one termer in an electoral college blowout .

    Add in Mueller and the state prosecutions and you could have Trump emerging still President but not seeking a second term because he yearns to go back to an investigation free life .

    Fine by me .

  20. dad29

    When you wish upon a star, Maley, make sure it’s a star, not just a burned-out ash like the last one you ran.   As to “principles”, the (D) Party never had any, and doesn’t really bother with “legal” either.

    How d’ya like that medicine, eh?

  21. MHMaley

    The”burned ash “ is Scott Walkers bid for a third
    Term . Or did you miss that ?
    Thank you Republican legislature for not allowing
    Wisconsin to opt out of Obamacare .
    That makes Health Care an issue for the next 2 years in the state and allows us to kick your ass with it a second time in 2020 .

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