Wisconsin voters elected Tony Evers, a Democrat, as their next Governor, and Josh Kaul, also a Democrat, as their next Attorney General. However, Republicans retained majority control of both the State Senate and State Assembly. And while Tony Evers will move into the Governor’s house in January, Republican Scott Walker is still the Governor for the next few weeks. So, naturally, Republicans in Wisconsin’s State Senate and Assembly are calling a lame-duck session of the State legislature in order to pass new limits on the power of the Governor and the Attorney General, limits that were not in place when Republican Scott Walker was Governor and Republican Brad Schimel was Attorney General.
Republican lawmakers plan to hold a lame-duck session as early as next week to curb the incoming Democratic governor’s powers over state rules, add GOP appointees to a state board, and possibly move the 2020 presidential primary to help a conservative state Supreme Court justice.
Republicans are also looking at changing the landscape at the state Department of Justice before Democrat Josh Kaul replaces GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel, including eliminating or scaling back the solicitor general’s office.
What makes these moves all the more heinous is that Democrats actually received more total votes than Republicans in the State Assembly, nearly 55% of the total votes. Yet Republicans won 63 of Wisconsin’s 99 seats in the State Assembly because they gerrymandered the districts.
In 2011, Republicans, who controlled the governor’s office and both houses of the Legislature, used that power to cement majorities through the redistricting process — the constitutionally required once-a-decade process to adjust electoral maps for changes in population.
Wisconsin Republicans don’t appear to care one bit what the voters of Wisconsin want. They are using a legislative majority, a majority they won only because they gerrymandered the districts, to limit the powers of a democratically elected Governor and Attorney General. When Republicans complain about a lack of civility in politics, they should look in the mirror. If Republicans are going to repeatedly cheat to win, then refuse to act in a bipartisan fashion when they lose, just how do they expect there to be civility in politics?