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GOP Pulls Naked Power Grab In Wisconsin While Media Obsesses On Bush Funeral

As Scott Walker prepares to turn his office over to a Democratic governor, the state legislature plans a naked power grab, quite similar to the one attempted in North Carolina in 2016 after Pat McCrory lost his bid.
GOP Pulls Naked Power Grab In Wisconsin While Media Obsesses On Bush Funeral
Image from: Ben Wikler via Twitter

Move On's Ben Wikler is in Madison, Wisconsin today covering Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans' effort to seize every drop of power they can before the office of governor is turned over to a Democrat. They have the perfect cover to do this, because the cable networks are obsessed with endless hagiographies of former President George H.W. Bush. Hours of air time are expended on eulogies and ceremony, while Wisconsin languishes in the shadow.

At issue today: How to kneecap the incoming Governor and Attorney General, both of whom happen to be Democrats. Talking Points Memo has in which they plan to do that, via one big power grab bundle of legislation:

Among the bill’s : preventing the state from dropping out of a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care act; moving the date of the 2020 presidential primary to boost the electoral prospects of a Republican state Supreme Court justice; limiting early voting to two weeks; reducing the powers of incoming Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul; and limiting Evers’ authority to implement state laws and make appointments to state agencies.

You may recall a similar effort in North Carolina in 2016, which was challenged in the courts and still has lasting repercussions, including some really awful activity in NC-09 and the possibility of the election board being forced to disband before that is resolved, because of the legislation that body passed to tie the governor in knots.

Ben Wikler is live-tweeting the proceedings, where protesters have packed the room, forcing people into overflow rooms.

I’m still agog at the moment when Senate leader Fitzgerald said early voting laws must be changed because people in his area are sick of seeing footage of people early-voting in Milwaukee when their own clerks’ offices are closed. The solution should be *expanding* early votes.

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler)

Fitzgerald says they still have a little to do to “get Senators comfortable” with all the proposals. Particularly changing the presidential primary date. Public: your job is to not let anyone get comfortable with these bills.

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— Ben Wikler (@benwikler)

Activists snuck into the GOP’s press conference. The second it ended, they started chanting “Stop this coup! Respect our votes!”

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler)

Voters furious, chanting outside of hearing room here at Wisconsin state capitol: “RESPECT OUR VOTES! PROTECT OUR VOTES!”

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler)

Here in Joint Finance Committee hearing room, you can hear the very angry crowd chanting outside.

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler)

If the passes, the Republican state legislative leaders could, in any case involving the constitutionality of a state law, kick out the (Dem) attorney general and hire private attorneys at taxpayer expense to try the case their way.

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler)

Amazing. If you live in Wisconsin, make as much noise as you can. RIGHT NOW. They are trying to nullify the midterms by legislation since they couldn't do it in the election.

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