Boots & Sabers

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Tag: Tony Evers

Evers Calls Special Session to Fix Unemployment System

And the legislature rightfully balks.

The Democratic governor announced the effort to upgrade the system during his State of the State speech on Tuesday. He introduced a bill Wednesday that calls for the state Department of Workforce Development to conduct all transactions electronically and hands the agency $5.3 million to renovate and modernize the claims system. He also issued an executive order calling for lawmakers to take up the bill in a special session beginning at noon on Tuesday.

But Republican leaders of the Senate and Assembly accused Evers of trying to shift blame. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Evers’ plan, which appears dead on arrival, is about politics, not policy.

“Governor Evers already has the funding and tools he needs to fix the problems,” said Republican Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu. “Now, instead of effectively using his resources, he’s scrambling to shift blame while people are still left waiting.”

The Republicans are right. Do you know what the tell is? How do you know that Evers is politicizing this instead of acting in good faith?

He called a special session. That’s the tell. The legislature is actually in session and could take up his proposals as part of their regular business. There isn’t any need for a special session. Yet Evers calls a special session because it gives him the cover to claim that he is “doing something” while the Republicans are “failing to act.” It is an attempt to shift blame.

It is also worth noting that we are TEN months removed from when this became an issue and Evers is just now getting around to thinking that he needs the legislature to do something? Is that the speed of government? (yes, it is)

Evers’ Faillings

I was going to write something substantially similar to this, but Senator Stroebel beat me to it.

“Yesterday, Gov. Tony Evers demonstrated his irresponsible priorities as a chief executive. While the state learned of his disastrous handling of the COVID-19 vaccination effort, Gov. Evers was busy rushing out a press statement defending the indefensible actions of convicted domestic abuser Jacob Blake.

 

“According to press reports, Gov. Evers’ plan – if he has one – to ensure frontline healthcare workers and senior citizens receive the COVID vaccine has resulted in Wisconsin being third worst in the region in terms of per capita vaccinations. Physicians and senior citizens have confirmed to the press and lawmakers that they are struggling to receive the vaccine even though they are the national priority to receive it.

 

“Just last month Gov. Evers was upset that Wisconsin ended up with fewer doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine than originally planned. Apparently he never had a good plan to distribute the doses received or the additional doses he was trying to secure.

 

“Instead of posturing and defending a convicted domestic abuser who armed himself and attempted to steal a vehicle with children in it, Gov. Evers should be fixing the COVID vaccine distribution problem in our state. It is sad that he learned nothing from his failure to adequately process the unemployment insurance claims of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin workers last year.”

Sen. Stroebel represents the 20th Senate District.

Evers fights for more government with COVID-19 bill

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News this week. Thankfully, this bill is still dead.

Gov. Tony Evers is urging the Republican leadership of the Legislature to pass his self-styled “compromise” bill addressing the ongoing health concern precipitated by COVID-19. Setting aside, for a moment, that Evers’ bill is not a compromise (hint: compromise bills are rarely announced by only one side) and that Evers has actually taken the Legislature to court over the legality of bills passed in a so-called “lame duck” session, let us examine the priorities of the governor during the ongoing health concern.

 

Evers’ bill consists of 17 provisions. Seven of the provisions are designed to expand government and/or reduce the government’s accountability to the people. Eight of them would make waste, corruption, and graft easier with taxpayer money. And two of them are regulatory overreaches that will wreak havoc on citizens and the economy.

 

Given Evers’ background as an educrat, it is not surprising that his bill begins with the absolution of the government education establishment from the strictures of accountability. Under his bill, government schools would not be required to administer pupil assessments and the State Department of Public Instruction would not be required to publish the annual school and school district accountability report for the 2020-2021 school year. Evers seeks to remove any evidence of just how much government education failed the children of Wisconsin this school year.

 

Ominously, Evers seeks to allow any state entity to waive in-person requirements until June 30, 2021, “if enforcing the requirement would increase the public health risk.” You will take note of the fact that no objective standard is given for what constitutes an increase to the public health risk. While this may impact things like court proceedings, Evers’ likely target it to waive in-person requirements to obtain official state photo identification and the spring elections. With this provision in law, Evers could provide a massive gateway for illegal aliens to obtain official photo identification and force the upcoming elections to be conducted 100% by mail.

 

The bill also seeks to funnel unemployment insurance payments into the hands of people who do not need it. It would permanently allow people who are receiving federal Social Security disability payments to also receive unemployment payments. Under current law, someone who is receiving money because they cannot work due to a disability is not eligible for unemployment payments because they are already being compensated for not working. The bill would also completely waive the requirement to seek work in order to receive unemployment payments until July 3, 2021. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is at 5% and employers are again struggling to find workers. Anyone who is able and willing to work can find a job. Evers should focus his attention on fixing the unemployment payment backlog that his administration has allowed to languish for the previous nine months.

 

Evers is also sure to take care of the state bureaucracy. His “COVID relief” bill would allow state government employees to take their annual leave even if they have not completed the required six-month probationary period. Evers would lavish additional funding on the Department of Health Services and the Department of Administration while expanding their powers. The DOA would be given arbitrary discretion to shift money around to fund unemployment payments and DHS would be given a grand mandate to operate COVID testing and treatment facilities in perpetuity. The Department of Revenue gets a nod too with the arbitrary discretion to distribute grants to small businesses. The arbitrary discretion of any government official is an invitation for corruption.

 

Most shockingly, Evers would completely prohibit any foreclosures or evictions until July 1, 2021. He would do so without providing any relief for the thousands of property owners, big and small, who would be forced to completely pay for the housing for people unable, or unwilling, to pay their mortgage or rent. Should this provision go into effect, it will force a wave of bankruptcies for small- and medium property owners and force the prices up for people who do pay their bills. While one might be willing to grant Governor Evers credit for trying to stick up for struggling families, this measure is so breathtakingly stupid and destructive that no such credit can be issued.

 

Governor Evers’ bill is a mishmash of bad ideas interspersed with measures clearly designed to unshackle the state bureaucracy. Its only redeeming quality is that it will never pass. True to his character, Governor Evers announced this bill after a series of insincere discussions with the legislative leadership designed to give him the cover of having negotiated something. He did so while giving the Legislature a ridiculous deadline of less than two weeks during the holiday season to pass it. Thankfully, the legislative leadership has signaled that they will not be bullied by a duplicitous governor offering nothing but a list of destructive decrees.

 

The fact that Governor Evers is devoid of good ideas does not release the legislative Republicans from their duty to convene and pass meaningful legislation to help Wisconsinites who continue to feel the impact of COVID-19 and our government overreaction to it. They should start with universal school choice to allow families to escape government schools that failed so badly during this time, liability protections for employers, and prohibit state taxpayers from paying to bail out local governments that enforced more restrictive COVID-19 measures that crippled their own local economies.

Evers fights for more government with COVID-19 bill

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. I dig into Evers’ COVID bill a little. Here’s a part:

Gov. Tony Evers is urging the Republican leadership of the Legislature to pass his self-styled “compromise” bill addressing the ongoing health concern precipitated by COVID-19. Setting aside, for a moment, that Evers’ bill is not a compromise (hint: compromise bills are rarely announced by only one side) and that Evers has actually taken the Legislature to court over the legality of bills passed in a socalled “lame duck” session, let us examine the priorities of the governor during the ongoing health concern.

 

Evers’ bill consists of 17 provisions. Seven of the provisions are designed to expand government and/or reduce the government’s accountability to the people. Eight of them would make waste, corruption, and graft easier with taxpayer money. And two of them are regulatory overreaches that will wreak havoc on citizens and the economy.

Nass: Evers Fails to Compromise

I do agree that the Republicans need to try to keep the doors open to compromise, but stop waiting for it. Pass your ideas and let Evers decide if he’s going to us his veto or not. But we’re waiting to see Republicans do more than talk.

“Governor Evers has offered what he calls a compromise Covid-19 Recovery Bill. The only compromises in it would be on the part of Republicans giving up on everything we have asked be included. It contains none of the major proposals offered by Republicans to reopen public schools for in-person education, reopen state government facilities to state workers, or ending the abuses by public health bureaucrats in controlling every aspect of our daily lives.

It is time for Republicans to get off our knees and fight to advance the Covid-19 legislation our constituents are demanding of us. Governor Evers and his administration represent the interests of liberals in Dane County and the City of Milwaukee.

Evers Opposes Representative Government

Just consider how authoritarian this perspective is.

Gov. Tony Evers said he’s “concerned” about a GOP proposal to give the Republican-led Legislature oversight of future COVID-19-related spending and the state’s vaccine deployment.

[…]

“Clearly, if you think about over 100 people in the Capitol figuring out who gets the vaccine first or second and so on, that doesn’t even pass the smell test,” Evers said on a media call with reporters Thursday.

So having the legislature weigh in on public policy and how we spend hundreds of millions of dollars “doesn’t even pass the smell test?” These decisions should be made by one man sitting in a mansion on Lake Mendota?

This is a man who doesn’t actually believe in our system of government.

Evers Administration Sues

The liberals won the Supreme Court election and the election is over. Time for them to launch a barrage of lawsuits in the hope that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has shifted Left.

MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul sued state lawmakers Monday, bringing a new challenge to a set of lame-duck laws Republicans passed two years ago to curb their powers.

The latest case focuses on a requirement that the Legislature’s budget committee sign off on some court settlements negotiated by Kaul.

Evers and Kaul argue that the policy violates the state constitution’s separation-of-powers doctrine, which spells out what authorities belong to the executive and legislative branches of government.

With the lawsuit, the state’s top two Democrats are trying to resolve an issue that has remained elusive during the first half of their terms in office.

In a ruling this summer, the state Supreme Court found the settlement provision does not violate the state constitution in all situations but left open the possibility that it might some of the time. The new, narrower lawsuit asks the high court to rule that two classes of cases should be exempt from the requirement to get approval from lawmakers.

On the merits, the law does not appear to violate the separation of powers. In fact, the law is a long-overdue legislative oversight that I hope remains in place for future Republican Attorneys General too. Some state AGs have used their power to shake down companies for settlements that can then be doled out to political favorites by the administration in power. A little oversight and discussion with the legislature is not an undue burden. It is, however, a prudent exercise of the legislative branch to oversee the collection and disbursement of settlement that often total millions of dollars.

Tyrant Tony Extends Illegal Order

It’s not about whether it is a good idea or not. It’s about the fact that we do not permit a single man to have this much power over us.

The Democratic governor announced during one of his bi-weekly COVID-19 media briefings that his statewide mask mandate has been extended until January of next year, and that he is issuing a new public health emergency this week.

The current public health emergency was set to expire this Saturday.

“It’s clear based on where we’re at that that we cannot afford to stop or have a gap in some of the only mitigation efforts we still have in place,” Evers said.

Emergency Order No. 1 will also be re-issued, Evers said, which requires face covering in public places.

Court Orders Evers to Surrender Emails

Governor Evers has been flagrantly violating the Open Records Laws. This is not the first example. It won’t be the last. He shuns oversight by the people.

After a year-long battle over Governor Tony Evers’ emails, a Dane County Circuit Court judge ruled this week in FOX6’s favor.

In September 2019, FOX6 requested just over four weeks of emails to and from Governor Tony Evers and his chief of staff, Maggie Gau. FOX6 regularly conducts open records spot checks on public employees’ emails. A recent spot check on two weeks of state lawmakers’ emails uncovered the practice of using personal email addresses to communicate about sensitive government information.

The governor’s assistant legal counsel Erin Deeley denied the request and FOX6’s subsequent attempt to narrow the request to emails from one week.

Finally, FOX6 asked for just Governor Evers’ emails from just one day – June 14, 2019. The request was denied. Governor Evers’ attorney said all email requests will be denied if they do not contain search terms or wording she can turn into search terms. That is, requests for emails about the budget or containing the word “agriculture,” for example, may be processed; requests for all emails over a specific time frame, no matter how short, will be denied. In other words, the requesters need to know what’s in the public records before they can see the public records.

Evers’ DWD Already Behind as it Awaits Onrush of New Unemployment Claims

The evidence is clear that Evers’ DWD failed to prepare for the onrush of unemployment claims when he closed the state in March. It took them weeks to begin reacting and months to get new people in place to handle the load. Based on the stonewalling by the Evers’ administration below, I highly doubt that he took any proactive steps to shore up the DWD when he issued his new order restricting restaurant capacity. There are a lot of cooks, servers, and other staff that will be looking for help from the DWD. Will they be able to get it?

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development says it’s made significant progress processing unemployment claims. But tens of thousands of claims are still waiting to be processed while people struggled to get by.

[…]

However this week, the Department of Workforce Development announced progress. It says about 91 percent of claims have been processed, but that still leaves more than 80,000 people waiting for their money.

[…]

And now, as COVID-19 cases surge, Gov. Evers issued a new executive order limiting stores, restaurants and other businesses to 25 percent capacity. That could lead to a new unemployment spike.

CBS 58 Investigates asked DWD if it’s ready but they did not return calls or emails for comment.

During a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Evers said he’s confident they can handle it.

“We are in the last couple of weeks, we have made significant changes within the process of issuing money to claimants on unemployment insurance,” Gov. Evers said.

We asked the governor’s office for specifics about those changes and details about the plan to prevent another backlog. We didn’t hear back.

Evers Tries to Stem Economic Recovery

Once again, our governor issues decrees from his mansion for his subjects to follow.

As COVID-19 cases continue surging in Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers’ top health official Tuesday unveiled a new statewide order capping indoor public gatherings at certain businesses.

The move comes as the number of coronavirus cases Tuesday again rose over 2,000 after two days below that threshold, and as hospital beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients reached a record 782 on Monday.

[…]

Under the order, effective Thursday at 8 a.m., indoor public gatherings of more than 25% of a room or building’s total occupancy are banned. That includes gatherings at stores, restaurants, bars or other businesses that allow members of the public to enter.

The order doesn’t shut down businesses or govern outdoor spaces controlled by businesses. It also doesn’t apply to schools, governmental spaces, offices, manufacturing plants and other facilities only accessible by employees, nor is it enforceable for any events where protected speech is occurring, such as indoor political rallies, protests or religious gatherings.

Evers’ DWD failed Wisconsin

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week:

In response to the disgraceful management of the Unemployment Insurance program by the Department of Workforce Development, the nonpartisan Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau audited the response and performance of the state’s call centers. The audit uncovered the exact kinds of lethargy, indifference, and poor leadership that confirm the worst stereotypes of government bureaucracy.

The scale of the problem the DWD faced was real and unprecedented. Governor Evers declared a public health emergency on March 12, closed schools on March 13, and after ratcheting down public gatherings, ordered everyone home on March 24. The governor’s order shuttered most businesses in the state and forced hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites out of work. Evers caused an unprecedented rush of people filing unemployment claims.

In 2019, an average of 4,700 Wisconsinites per week filed an initial unemployment claim. The DWD’s UI call center took about 6,300 calls per week. According to the DWD, 93.4% of initial claims were filed online with only 6.6% being filed through the call centers. The DWD UI call center had a staff of 90 employees.

Beginning the week of March 15, the number of initial claims skyrocketed. It peaked the week of March 22 with 116,129 initial claims filed and was half that by the week of April 5. The DWD call centers received 1.4 million calls the week of March 22 and almost 6 million calls the week of April 12. All told, there were 41.1 million calls made to the DWD call centers between March 15 and June 30. Of those, 93.3% were blocked or received a busy signal; 6.2% of callers got through but hung up before being answered; and only 0.5% of calls were answered.

The DWD woefully underreported the extent of the problem to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. The DWD reported the number of calls blocked, abandoned, and answered. The calls it reported as “blocked” were calls that reached the system and the caller was told to call later and disconnected. They did not report the number of callers who just received a busy signal. In doing so, the DWD failed to report 75% of the calls that were unable to reach the call centers.

When challenges arise, leaders rise. Unfortunately, there were not any to be found at the DWD or in the governor’s mansion.

It is important to follow the dates. On March 31, two weeks after Evers declared a public health emergency, DWD began increasing the staff of its call centers. By the end of April, six weeks after the emergency declaration, they had added four employees. A month later, they had added a total of 37 employees. By the end of July — a full 20 weeks after the emergency declaration — they had added a total of 98 employees. Meanwhile, Wisconsinites continued to get busy signals and wait for checks that never came.

One would think that the DWD employees were burning the midnight oil to help their fellow citizens in these unprecedented times, right? Wrong. From March 15 to July 31, while hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites were unemployed and looking for help, DWD call center workers worked a scant average of 1.6 hours of overtime per week. The call center was only open for 39.58 hours per week until May 20 before they began expanding hours slightly.

The DWD also dragged its feet to contract with outside call centers. Again, the dates are important. The governor declared a state public health emergency on March 12. On April 9, DWD began the process by requesting approval from the Department of Administration to waive a competitive bidding process. The DOA gave approval on April 16 and on April 20, the DWD requested bids. It awarded the contract to Alorica on May 7 — eight weeks after the emergency declaration.

As Alorica call center took several weeks to ramp up to capacity, the DWD did not require that they provide any information about the actual effectiveness of the call centers. The DWD has no idea if they were able to actually resolve the callers’ issues after the initial call. More calls were finally being answered, but nobody is certain to what effect.

If Wisconsin had a competent governor with a competent administration, they would have anticipated the rush of Wisconsinites seeking to file unemployment claims when they effectively shut down the state’s economy. They would have aggressively worked to expand the capacity of the DWD UI staff, expanded hours, worked overtime, accelerated outsourcing, and done everything possible to serve Wisconsinites who were forced out of work due to government action. Instead, the governor, DWD secretary, and agency bureaucrats plodded along at government speed while unemployed Wisconsinites waited and worried.

Governor Evers forced his DWD secretary to resign as the administration’s scapegoat, but he should take a hard look in the mirror and ask why his administration failed precisely when so many Wisconsinites needed it most.

Evers’ DWD failed Wisconsin

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

Beginning the week of March 15, the number of initial claims skyrocketed. It peaked the week of March 22 with 116,129 initial claims filed and was half that by the week of April 5. The DWD call centers received 1.4 million calls the week of March 22 and almost 6 million calls the week of April 12. All told, there were 41.1 million calls made to the DWD call centers between March 15 and June 30. Of those, 93.3% were blocked or received a busy signal; 6.2% of callers got through but hung up before being answered; and only 0.5% of calls were answered.

The DWD woefully underreported the extent of the problem to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. The DWD reported the number of calls blocked, abandoned, and answered. The calls it reported as “blocked” were calls that reached the system and the caller was told to call later and disconnected. They did not report the number of callers who just received a busy signal. In doing so, the DWD failed to report 75% of the calls that were unable to reach the call centers.

When challenges arise, leaders rise. Unfortunately, there were not any to be found at the DWD or in the governor’s mansion.

It is important to follow the dates…

[…]

If Wisconsin had a competent governor with a competent administration, they would have anticipated the rush of Wisconsinites seeking to file unemployment claims when they effectively shut down the state’s economy. They would have aggressively worked to expand the capacity of the DWD UI staff, expanded hours, worked overtime, accelerated outsourcing, and done everything possible to serve Wisconsinites who were forced out of work due to government action. Instead, the governor, DWD secretary, and agency bureaucrats plodded along at government speed while unemployed Wisconsinites waited and worried.

Governor Evers forced his DWD secretary to resign as the administration’s scapegoat, but he should take a hard look in the mirror and ask why his administration failed precisely when so many Wisconsinites needed it most.

 

Evers Extends Illegal Mask Mandate

And here it is

MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers issued a new public health emergency on Tuesday to extend the statewide mask mandate by 60 days as cases of coronavirus accelerate around the state.

The move comes after infections among college-aged adults have skyrocketed now that campuses are open for the fall semester.

Overall, the state is seeing some of the highest rates of infection in the country. Nearly 7,000 positive tests were reported Thursday, Friday and Saturday — the most reported over any three-day period in Wisconsin. On Friday, a single-day record of 2,533 new cases was reported.

[…]

Evers issued the first health emergency in March and the second in July. That order expires on Monday and Republican legislative leaders haven’t said whether they will extend it and have made no moves to do so. Once it expires, so does the statewide mask mandate. The new mandate extends to Nov. 21.

Whither the GOP?

Evers wants to extend illegal mask mandate

My column for the Washington County Daily News in online and in print. When it comes to the mask mandate, Governor Evers is wrong on the law and wrong on the science.

Governor Tony Evers’ illegal order that all Wisconsinites wear face masks is set to expire on September 28 and he covets an extension of his despotic rule. Any extension of the order would not only be the third intentionally illegal power grab by the governor through emergency declarations, but it would be an admission that his actions are not rooted in science or data. Evers’ emergency orders are about power — not people.

[…]

If you think that a governor creating a permanent state of emergency where he issues arbitrary orders at his sole discretion is an acceptable way to govern, then the governor should at least be able to explain why the order is necessary and will work. The evidence is clear that the current mask mandate has not had any impact on the spread of coronavirus.

Evers Threatens to Extend Illegal Order

Typical.

Evers issued the statewide mask mandate on July 30, using a power in state law that lets governors declare public health emergencies for up to 60 days. Evers used the same law to issue another 60-day emergency in March during the early days of the pandemic.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit over the mandate in late August, arguing that it was unlawful for Evers to declare multiple emergencies for the same event. That lawsuit is ongoing.

“We will fight we will fight every step of the way to make sure that this one small thing that everybody can do remains in place until we’re told that the numbers are down,” Evers said in a discussion that was broadcast by the Wisconsin Eye public affairs network.

Evers’ current order is set to expire on Sept. 28 unless it’s rescinded before then by the governor, the Legislature or a court order. But Evers gave no indication that he would rescind the masking order himself, and he didn’t rule out extending it.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there whether we extend it or not,” Evers said.

Once again, the issue is not whether mandating masks is the correct course of action or not. The issue is whether we are going to allow a single man to utterly ignore our system of representative government and issue arbitrary orders from his mansion in Madison. If he can order a mask, he could also order that we all wear hats, or be clean shaven so that the masks fit, or carry guns because there are riots, or whatever. The issue is whether or not we should live under the arbitrary rule of a single man or return to a republican form of government.

As for the effectiveness of a mask mandate, help me reconcile this.

Since the order, cases have gone up:

But deaths and hospitalizations are steady:

 

So since Evers ordered that everyone wear masks, cases are spiking, but deaths and hospitalizations remain flat. If the purpose of masks are to stop the spread of the Rona, shouldn’t we see the positive impact in the number of cases? We are not. We are seeing the opposite.

The reason is that the rise in cases is being driven completely by people aged 18-24.

This is because of all of the college kids who went back to school. Not only are they spreading it around a bit, but they are being tested like crazy. The more you test, the more you will find. But clearly, many of the kids have few, if any symptoms, and they are recovering fine without hospital intervention. Also bear in mind that almost all state colleges are rigorously enforcing the mask mandate.

If there is absolutely no evidence that the mask mandate is actually mitigating the spread of disease, why would the governor consider extending it? Aren’t we supposed to follow the science? Is is this not really about the science or fighting the pandemic?

Recall Evers at election time

Here is my column that ran in the Washington County Daily News this week:

Governor Tony Evers is proving to be one of the most partisan, nasty, incompetent governors in modern history. Our state is worse off for him having been elected. But we elected him, and he is our governor for at least the next 28 long, long months. The burgeoning attempt to recall the governor, while well-intentioned, is an affront to our system of government and social contract. We elected him. Barring something criminal, we are stuck with him, and that is as it should be.

This is certainly not the first time that Wisconsinites have attempted to recall a governor. In fact, there have been attempts to recall the last two governors. In 2009, after almost two terms of lies and sleaze from Governor Jim Doyle, an intrepid band of earnest citizens attempted to recall the governor. The ill-fated attempt ended as it should have, in failure, and Governor Doyle announced his decision to decline to seek re-election three months later.

Of course, with the taste of recall blood in the water, the liberals in Wisconsin tried the same tactic to remove Governor Scott Walker two years later. They were upset that Governor Walker had the temerity to champion public policies with which they disagreed. They were successful in collecting enough signatures to trigger a recall election and proceeded to rend the political and social fabric of Wisconsin for the better part of a decade.

The process to recall an elected official exists for the citizens to remove a politician who has so abused the public trust that he or she must not be permitted to finish the term. There is no legal or official standard for what action, or lack thereof, defines the threshold for the recall of an elected official, but prudence and respect for representative government demands an extraordinary standard. In the case of Governor Evers, that standard has not been met. It is true that he advocates for policies that are destructive to Wisconsin. It is true that Evers is foul-mouthed, unprofessional, and duplicitous in his dealings with people who do not agree with him. It is true that he is feckless and makes poor decisions when responding to emergencies that afflict our state. It is true that Evers lacks the interpersonal skills to compromise or find common ground. He is a case study for the Peter Principle. All of that is true, but Governor Evers has not done anything for which he deserves to be recalled. He is just a bad governor.

The problem with a recall is that it destabilizes our political system by challenging the will of the people. It is like the people saying, “Yeah, we elected him, but we changed our minds.” The uncertainty that the attempted recall of a governor creates ripples through the state. It roils the electorate and unsettles the economy. The stability of our political system relies on the orderly transition of power and the relative certainty of regularly scheduled elections. The whipsaw of reactive recall elections subverts that stability and risks roiling our state in perpetual turmoil.

The thing with Governor Evers is that his incompetence, dishonesty, poor social skills, and laziness were on full display before the voters elected him. It was obvious to anyone looking. But in a fit of cantankerousness, the good people of Wisconsin elected him anyway. As the old saw goes, elections have consequences.

The frustration that some people are feeling over our governor is a healthy reminder that elections have consequences. The governor is not a boorish house guest that can be shown the door when his behavior becomes too much. We invited him to stay the night and we are stuck with him until morning.

We choose our elected leaders during orderly, regularly scheduled elections. That is where we must spend our time, money, and energy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Good choices during an election prevent the damage bad choices inflict. Recalling a governor should be reserved for only the most egregious and criminal of transgressions.

Focus on the elections. They matter.

Recall Evers at election time

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

Governor Tony Evers is proving to be one of the most partisan, nasty, incompetent governors in modern history. Our state is worse off for him having been elected. But we elected him, and he is our governor for at least the next 28 long, long months. The burgeoning attempt to recall the governor, while well-intentioned, is an affront to our system of government and social contract. We elected him. Barring something criminal, we are stuck with him, and that is as it should be.

[…]

The thing with Governor Evers is that his incompetence, dishonesty, poor social skills, and laziness were on full display before the voters elected him. It was obvious to anyone looking. But in a fit of cantankerousness, the good people of Wisconsin elected him anyway. As the old saw goes, elections have consequences.

The frustration that some people are feeling over our governor is a healthy reminder that elections have consequences. The governor is not a boorish house guest that can be shown the door when his behavior becomes too much. We invited him to stay the night and we are stuck with him until morning.

We choose our elected leaders during orderly, regularly scheduled elections. That is where we must spend our time, money, and energy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Good choices during an election prevent the damage bad choices inflict. Recalling a governor should be reserved for only the most egregious and criminal of transgressions.

Focus on the elections. They matter.

Evers Labels Opposition to Unconstitutional Abuse of Power “Partisanship”

Have you noticed how totalitarians label any opposition to their illegal machinations as “partisanship?” It is as if we peons are not allowed to have an opinion about our oppressors.

Gov. Tony Evers said public health shouldn’t be a partisan issue, in response to a lawsuit filed last week by a conservative advocacy group that seeks to challenge his latest emergency declaration and mask mandate.

His remarks came as state health officials confirmed 727 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

“Science should not be a partisan issue, and a county-by-county piecemeal approach to the pandemic wasn’t working,” said Evers in a DHS briefing. “Our numbers continue to rise, families continue to lose loved ones, and we’ve reached record daily increases of positive cases, day after day.”

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