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Trashing an Election
Before dawn on the funeral day of George H. W. Bush – who left a hand-written letter for his successor, supporting civil transfer of power – the Republican majority in the WI Legislature commemorated the day by passing hurried bills limiting powers of newly-elected Gov. Evers and A.G Kaul. Also, they made it difficult or impossible for some citizens to enroll in BadgerCare, locked in Wisconsin participation in the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, locked out coverage of pre-existing conditions, restricted early voting to two weeks.
They warmed up on Tuesday, confirming 82 Walker appointments, 30 of which had no public hearing. What hypocrisy, in light of Walker’s 2010 letter to Gov. Doyle, urging him not to “finalize any permanent civil service personnel”! “I believe these appointees should be required to go through the same application process as any other civil servant…” Walker wrote. Apparently, there’s a double standard: “the respect and power I wanted shouldn’t go to my successor.”
Headlines around the nation proclaimed these actions as a “coup”, “a power-crab”.
“Democracy dies in darkness”, stated one news source.
In Wisconsin history, no legislature has enacted such “scorched earth” tactics. These authoritarian, anti-democratic actions are typical of street gangs or mafia. By his votes, Rep. Stafsholt has proclaimed his membership in this gang.
Do citizens of the Assembly District 29 condone this kind of behavior? Was Stasholt re-elected to subvert orderly, civil transfer of power? Does Stafsholt represent his district in these vindictive actions? Will people who voted for him have second thoughts, or is his district so gerrymandered he’ll be elected again in 2020, no matter how he votes? These questions apply in the majority of Wisconsin Assembly Districts.
The exiting governor’s phone number is 608/266-1212, should anyone want to tell him not to sign this legislation. Of course, he will, and that will be another element of his dark legacy.
Patrick and Jan Pesek-Herriges