Saturday, April 7, 2018

Walker and Schimel must pay a price for ignoring law and public on special elections

Just because elections will now finally take place in Wisconsin's 1st Senate district and 42nd Assembly district this June, let's not forget the arrogance of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in his delaying of those elections, his ignoring of Wisconsin law, and the extra costs that his stunt will cost local taxpayers as a result of this. But Walker is not the only one to blame in this fiasco.

Urban Milwaukee’s Bruce Thompson blames another elected GOP official for not stepping up to stop Walker’s crooked idiocy - Attorney General Brad Schimel.
By not promptly calling a special election Walker broke Wisconsin law. Did no one warn him? What about Attorney General Brad Schimel? Good lawyers warn their clients when they are about to do something illegal.

This case illustrates the danger that exists when partisans surround themselves with people who think just as they do. In such a hothouse environment, it is easy to conclude that others are just as partisan. A judge who rules against you? It is because she comes from Dane County—nothing to do with the merits of the case.

The solution to legal problems, according to this line of thinking, is to find a more sympathetic judge. So Schimel decides to appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Waukesha County, rather than the third district, which includes Dane County where he brought his suit.
This is doubly funny because Schimel basically got his position as the GOP’s AG candidate in 2014 because he used his position as Waukesha County DA to let former GOP Speaker Scott Jensen off the hook for corruption with a slap on the wrist. After that plea deal, Jensen became a major launderer of Betsy DeVos’s money, which has been used in big amounts to elect Republicans who will throw more tax dollars to Wisconsin school voucher scam.

Homer is more ethical...and competent.

Unlike the Jensen case, Schimel wasn’t the one that got to allow the suburba-GOP to get away with breaking the law last month. As a result, Thompson notes that Schimel got slapped down hard in his own backyard.
This attempt at judge shopping ended badly. The second circuit quickly rejected his appeal. Writing for the court and quoting language from Schimel’s appeal, Judge Paul Reilly wrote a heartfelt endorsement of the right to vote: “Representative government and the election of our representatives are never ‘unnecessary,’ never a ‘waste of taxpayer resources,’ and the calling of the special elections are, as the Governor acknowledges, his ‘obligation’ to follow.”

The temptation is to say that this was a victory for Democrats. It is more accurate, I think, to regard it as a victory for democracy.
Scotty and his then-campaign spokesman Tom Evenson had thae “block and delay” strategy on those vacant seats ready to go on the day that Walker appointed Frank Lassee and Keith Ripp, as a series of emails released to the Huffington Post revealed this week. And despite media members asking at the time "Can you do that?", Walker's team was like "Oh yeah, of course we can."

As the Journal-Sentinel's Patrick Marley noted, Walker's attempt to prevent those elections from taking place did not go over well with Wisconsinites.

If you look at those responses, there are people from all over the state deluging Walker's office by mid-January, asking why these elections weren't being held. Walker's office was still feeding the "too expensive/session's over" lines, when both were complete bullshit at the time. In particular, calling the elections in mid-January would have allowed them to be held during the April 3 Spring elections that included the Supreme Court race, so it wouldn't have cost the locals a DIME. Never forget that Walker and Schimel chose not to do that.

This whole fiasco comes to down to a Governor and Attorney General who have no problems (ab)using their office for the GOP's own political means over the duties that taxpayers pay them to do. And I bet it helped explain why Dallet won by so much on Tuesday, and why people retained the State Treasurer position by more than 20 points, because Walker's and Schimel's disgusting act confirmed that these arrogant, fascist-leaning Republicans have to be checked any way possible.

And a whole lot of us must remind the public of the people who caused this mess, and make it another reason why both Walker and Schimel gotta get the boot this November.


  1. And don't forget Vos and Fitzgerald. That they even entertained the idea to hold an extraordinary session to change the special election law after the fact and attempt to make it apply retroactively is beyond egregious behavior and an abuse of power. They need to be held accountable and voted out as well.

    1. Absolutely true. And there are lots of other power-grabs like removing the head of the Elections Commission and refusing to use millions in HAVA money to shore up our elections. And almost all of the GOP Legislators went along with that crap.

      NO GOPs ARE "GOOD ONES", and all should be dragged down together.