Evers Stokes Division in Madison


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will sign a Republican bill removing the term “mental retardation” from five state agencies’ administrative codes even though he’s already issued an executive order that does just that, his spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Evers issued the order late Tuesday afternoon, stunning GOP legislators who have been pushing their bill toward floor votes in both the Senate and Assembly. The measure’s authors, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and state Rep. John Jagler, who has a daughter with Down syndrome, accused the governor of copying them and vowed to keep working on the legislation.

Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said the governor would “happily” sign the bill if it reaches his desk. She said Evers believes protecting Wisconsin residents’ dignity is more important than who gets to claim credit.

That statement by Evers’ mouthpiece would sound noble if it weren’t for the fact that Evers specifically took action to get all the credit. And there’s the rub… Evers knew this bill was coming. He could have waited to sign it, have a nice signing ceremony with the lawmakers, and use it as a way to build relationships and bipartisanship. This was the perfect bill to do it.

Instead, he used it as an opportunity to poke the legislative leaders in the eye… again. Evers is showing over and over again that he has no interest at all in trying to work across the aisle. His is just going to continue campaigning and never shift to governing.