Boots & Sabers

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0755, 16 Jul 19

Veto reform is badly needed

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a taste:

When the Wisconsin Legislature passed the state budget, it already had an irresponsible $500 million spending increase for K-12 education. With a stroke of his pen, Governor Evers used his powerful veto to increase spending by another $87 million. Now some lawmakers are proposing reining in the Wisconsin governor’s ability to use a veto to increase spending.

Governor Evers and his comrades have decried the attempt to curb the governor’s veto power as a partisan endeavor. Perhaps it is. And perhaps it would have been a worthwhile reform when one part controlled the legislative and executive branches. Even so, it often takes the abuse of power to spark reform, and this reform is badly needed.


The constitutional amendment being circulated by Sen. David Craig and Rep. Mike Kuglitsch does not even approach eliminating the governor’s line item veto. Their amendment would simply prohibit the ability of the governor to use a veto to increase spending. The rationale is simple. No single person in government should have the power to spend $87 million on their own authority.

That is entirely too much power for one person to have over his fellow citizens. Our state constitution explicitly grants the power to appropriate money for precisely the reason that spending decisions should be subject to a rigorous legislative process and not be the subject to the arbitrary whims of a solitary governor.

The process to amend the state’s constitution is, rightly, a lengthy one. The amendment must pass both houses of the legislature in two consecutive sessions. Then the amendment must pass a statewide referendum. Fortunately, the governor is not involved in the amendment process.

Wisconsin’s governor’s veto authority makes him or her too powerful. It was true for Governor Walker. It is true for Governor Evers. It will be true for the next governor. It will be true for the one after that unless we change it. Taking a small step to limit that veto authority is not a partisan issue. It is just a simple reform to make a better government.



0755, 16 July 2019


  1. guinness

    I’m sure the liberals are very happy with their new leader.

  2. Le Roi du Nord

    Doesn’t anyone find it odd that the powers of the governor were just fine when walker was in office, but now that Evers is in charge they aren’t.  Surely this could have been changed under previous administrations, no?  Or is this a terminal case of sour grapes and poor loseritis?

  3. guinness

    Because Walker didn’t use that veto power to do what Evers did, so they didn’t need to be changed before, or did you somehow miss that point? The next thing you’ll say is “prove it”. So, I’ll answer in advance and tell you to read the article we’re commenting on. And, just for the sake of argument, the veto power should be limited. We were lucky that we had Walker who was focused on getting us out of the red, which he successfully did in many floundering districts that were previously mismanaged. And no, I’m not going to prove that to you, because you will conveniently ignore it if I do. Why can’t you acknowledge that Evers just grossly abused his veto power? That’s the point of the article. Probably because you’re a totally brainwashed liberal who would support anything he does, including his support of abortion.

  4. Le Roi du Nord


    Evers exercised the veto power granted to him and previous governors.  If you or anyone else was concerned past, present, or future abuse why weren’t those powers curtailed earlier?  I’ll answer for you: because walker/vos/fitz didn’t think he would lose.   Ditto with the lame duck changes.

    I’ll leave the brainwashing to others on this blog.

  5. guinness

    I already answered and the subject was major veto power abuse, not normal, everyday ones. I also said I support limiting veto powers.

    Again, do you think Evers abused his veto power or not?

  6. Le Roi du Nord


    Well, walker had a legislature the was lock-step in line with him.  Evers has a opposition legislature whose sole goal is to poke a stick in his eye.  Big difference.

    Do I think Evers made some vetoes as he is authorized? Yes.

    Did he abuse that power? Certainly not.

  7. guinness

    Do you agree with his stand on abortion?

  8. jjf

    Because everything’s about abortion?

  9. guinness

    Clearly not at the top of your list jjf. How about you Roi?

  10. Le Roi du Nord


    You are trying unsuccessfully to simplify a very complicated topic.  I (and like thinkers) try to have a much broader world view and not get stuck on single issue candidates.   I have explained this before on this blog so once again here is my position: If abortion were the ONLY issue separating two candidates I would probably vote against abortion.  But it never has been and never will be the sole issue separating candidates. Example: The modern day “conservatives” are anti-abortion, yet as soon as that child is born it is abandoned by their policies,; be it education, health care, environment, etc., that will play into that child having a healthful and successful life contributing to society in many ways.

    So when you find those two candidates let me know, OK?

  11. jjf

    Guinness, does your candidate feel more strongly about the well-being of a six-week blastocyst than they do about a freshly-popped one-month-old baby?

  12. guinness

    jjf: Isolated situations are not what pro-abortion candidates are concerned with. They want an easy way out for anyone who doesn’t want their baby. If the majority of those women made the responsible choice, they wouldn’t have gotten pregnant to begin with. In the mean time, Planned Parenthood is capitalizing on the murder of innocent babies.

    Roi: So, it’s better to kill the unborn than to have their lives destroyed by conservative pro-lifers. That is essentially what you’re saying. Too bad abortion is not the only issue separating two candidates. You could take the high road and be guilt free.

  13. Le Roi du Nord


    No, that isn’t what I said, but you are free to believe whatever you want. I do my best to take the high road in everything I do, voting included.  However, I do regret the vote I cast for Nixon in ’72. As they say, live and learn.

  14. guinness

    If you believe supporting liberal candidates is taking the high road your reality is much different than mine.

  15. Le Roi du Nord

    No doubt about that.  But I also voted for Ford, and GHW Bush, and Lee Dreyfus and Tommy Thompson.  Making assumptions about things you don’t know will usually get you in trouble.  Repent while you still can.

  16. guinness

    So, why support liberal agendas now?

  17. jjf

    Oh, the pregnant were somehow irresponsible?  Rapes happen, birth control fails, medical issues might happen.  They’re to blame though.  And again, does your candidate care as much about the newborn as the blastocyst?  It’s so easy to say you’re cheering for the embryo.

  18. Le Roi du Nord


    Again you are making assumptions.  But, as you well know, the republican party, the so called “conservatives” of today, are a far cry from the republicans when I cast those votes.  They were the party of small government, common sense, and believe it or not, conserving our natural resources.  Not so more today.  But you go ahead and believe whatever you want, it’s still a free country..

  19. guinness

    The conservatives of today are fighting against radical socialism, and for good reason.

  20. dad29

    If abortion were the ONLY issue separating two candidates I would probably vote against abortion.  But it never has been and never will be the sole issue separating candidates

    That’s the best imitation of Cdl. Jos. Bernardin I’ve ever seen on this blog.

    Unfortunately for you, Bernardin was at best a heretic and at worst a Satanist.  I’m sure you prefer being called a heretic, but there’s the possibility……….

  21. Le Roi du Nord


    All the insults are wasted on me as I don’t believe in fairy tales.  Leave that for k.

  22. dad29

    Speaking of fairy tales, there’s always Evers!!

    You DO know that he stole $15MM from highway aids for towns so he could send it to TommyTrolley’s Trolley in Milwaukee, no?

    This from the guy who ran on Walker-Potholes or some such.

  23. Le Roi du Nord


    Could you expand on this claim, perhaps with facts?  Thanks.

    “You DO know that he stole $15MM from highway aids for towns so he could send it to TommyTrolley’s Trolley in Milwaukee, no?”

  24. dad29

    Nope.  You can use Google all by yourself.  I’m giving you permission–and a link in the other thread, too!!

  25. Le Roi du Nord


    Nope, that isn’t what happened, but believe what you want.  Alternative facts seem to suit you.

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