GOP schemes in Wisconsin, Michigan go against will of the people

Jocelyn Benson

The Republican legislature there moved in 2016 to limit the power of incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to hire and fire state employees, and to appoint Cabinet members and trustees to the University of North Carolina system, among other moves.

In a few short weeks, it will be a new year and with it, an inauguration for Wisconsin's recently elected officials. If Republicans in the legislature thought it was critical that the governor's control over the WEDC was problematic, they should have proposed and passed changes long ago. You don't get several extra months to exercise the power and privilege of your position.

With HR1, their first planned bill of the year, the Democrats are off to a good start.

"This idea is not unique", Robertson said, contending that the panel could work in bipartisan fashion. Republicans say setting the limit promotes fairness across the state while Democrats believe it will hamper early voting both in person and through the mail. Wisconsin has never seen anything like this, he said. "Their hyper-partisan approach is in sharp contrast to my goal of collaborating across the aisle to take MI from worst to first in ethics and transparency".

This is how we keep our government accountable to the people. So they introduced a bill to restrict her oversight of campaign finance issues.

The legislation to execute the voting-related ballot measure drew objections from Democrats and other proponents of the initiative. In the 2018 election, Republicans won just 46 percent of the vote for the U.S. House, but they won 63 percent of the seats.

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In Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri, legislators led by Republicans are using this lame-duck session (that time between the November 6 General Election and the start of the new administration in January) to pass a slew of state laws that would either reduce power of the incoming Democratic governors or attorney generals, push for more restrictive voting rights and make it more hard for citizens to directly influence legislation. And - though I'm astonished to hear myself say this - short of an airtight case from Robert Mueller that would ensure the president's conviction in a toadying, cowardly Republican-dominated Senate, I'm not sure that they should even try to impeach Trump.

The lame-duck moves would be similar to efforts in Wisconsin, where lawmakers voted earlier Wednesday to shift clout to the Republican-controlled Legislature and weaken the Democrat replacing the GOP governor.

Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin and MI are attempting to usurp the will of voters, who sent Democratic candidates to their respective state gubernatorial offices last November, by removing powers they were totally comfortable seeing previous Republican governors wield.

Democrats called the bill a blatant power grab that would fly in the face of voters. That's how they justify grabbing power from a Democratic-run executive branch that they were all too happy to leave in the hands of a Republican one. Eric Doster, a former long-time lawyer for the state GOP, testified that the commission would operate similarly to those in other states and said "now the time is right".

In an all-night floor session, Wisconsin Republicans this week approved sweeping legislation to eliminate the state Justice Department's solicitor general's office, a tool the defeated Republican attorney general, Brad Schimel, used to join highly partisan lawsuits such as the ACA challenge. Last year, they included language in the state budget that gives final decision-making in lawsuits challenging state laws to legislative leaders rather than Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein.

Nessel, for example, has said she probably will not defend a law allowing faith-based groups to refuse to serve same-sex couples who want to adopt children.

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