November 6th was a tough day for the Wisconsin Republicans. In office since 2011, the well-known governor Scott Walker was defeated by his opponent Tony Evers, after a close vote.
This Democrat will take office in January and, by then, the elected Republicans intend to take advantage of their full powers to complicate the task.
Republican lawmakers this morning passed a series of bills containing measures limiting the powers of the governor.
These measures, contained in a document of more than 100 pages, also affect the functions of the Attorney General, whose position will also be filled by a Democrat from January.
An example of a proposed change is that the Assembly (still controlled by the Republicans), and not the governor and his attorney, have the final say on the lawsuits in which the state participates.
Republicans also voted for measures reducing the time allowed for advance polls.
change on the horizon
This must be approved by outgoing Governor Scott Walker, who has been rather supportive of these proposals.
His successor, Tony Evers, says he is exploring the legal possibilities to challenge these last-minute legislative changes.
I will take the necessary steps to prevent power-hungry politicians from overriding the will of the people.
Tony Evers, Governor-Elect of Wisconsin.
“We do not trust Tony Evers on many issues,” Wisconsin Senate leader Wittonsin Scott Fitzgerald said on a local radio to justify the actions of his party.
The Republicans, who will remain in the majority in the assembly in January, say they act within the limits of their powers.
But many Wisconsin citizens doubt the legitimacy of their actions. In recent days, some have demonstrated during events.
“What troubles people is that these legislators have been elected through districts that favor them,” said political scientist Barry Burden, of the University of Wisconsin, referring to the redistricting of the party’s electoral map. State.
Thus, although the Democrats won the popular vote in mid-term elections, the state assembly remains largely controlled by Republicans, who have 63 seats out of 99.
Create a precedent
What is happening in Wisconsin could it inspire other American politicians? “Usually, what happens in Wisconsin does not stay in Wisconsin,” says Professor Donald Moynihan of Georgetown University, citing electoral redistribution.
At the moment, in the neighboring state of Michigan, Republican elected officials are also evaluating the possibility of adopting legislative changes before the new democratic governor takes office. A few years ago, a similar case was also observed in North Carolina.
If it is the Republicans who are currently in the news, the academic Donald Moynihan fears that Democrats decide to imitate them in the future.
If changing the rules when you lose becomes the norm, the other party will say that it may also have to act the same way.
Donald Moynihan, Director, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
In Wisconsin, this episode seems to be the preamble to a very difficult collaboration between the legislative and executive powers during the Democratic governor’s term.
“Any relationship of trust that may have existed before this episode is eroding,” notes political scientist Barry Burden.
Dennis Nordstrom was born and raised in Tampa. Dennis has worked as a freelance journalist for nearly a decade and written for Tribune Media, the AP and MSNBC. As a journalist for Gator Ledger, Dennis mostly covers community events and human interest stories.