Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The day after. Karma strikes Scotty, and is set to get Vos

Obviously, I’m still basking in the great feeling of seeing Dems run the table for state offices in Wisconsin last night, headed up by former teacher Tony Evers forcing Governor Scott Walker to get his first real job.

In breaking down the numbers, a major part of Evers’ win was an engaged electorate, as shown by this stunning stat.

Votes for candidate - 2014 vs 2018 
2014 1,259,706
2018 1,293,799

Burke 1,122,913
Evers 1,324,648

That right, Walker actually got 34,000 more votes than he did 4 years ago, but Evers won because Dems got over 200,000 additional votes vs 2014. Funny how Dems win when people care to show up. That reality has to be driving Walker, Attorney General Brad Schimel and other WisGOPs up the wall today.

It’s also why you can bet the gerrymandered GOP Legislature is going to try like hell to put in new voter restrictions before the 2020 presidential campaign. We need to be especially vigilant in these next 8 weeks, because Republican legislative leaders have called an “extraordinary session” for next week that’s supposed to be about the Kimberly-Clark bailout.

I was wondering if the Legislature might use this session as an excuse to try to rig things even further in the GOP’s favor and try to keep Evers from replacing the GOP hacks that have been stacked throughout state government by Walker over the years. And Assembly Speaker Robbin' Vos didn't make me wait long to find out.

Go ahead and try, Robbin'. Given that gerrymandering and a ton of special interest money were the only two things that allowed you to maintain your large majorities, you'll find out quickly that GOP thuggery and regressiveness was not what Wisconsinites voted for yesterday.

The irony in how the Governor’s election ended is delicious, with the counting of absentee ballots in the city that Walker has dumped on for decades – Milwaukee. And why were there so many absentee ballots? Because of a successful lawsuit by the man who beat our current vote-suppressing Attorney General. 
 But 70 percent of the would-be voters who have gone through the [state’s ID petition process] are non-white, plaintiffs' attorney Josh Kaul argued in court. And of 61 denials issued, he said, 81 percent of those who were denied were non-white. 
Plaintiffs in the case sought to overturn voting policies signed into law by Walker between 2011 and 2015, including restrictions on early voting hours and locations, the elimination of straight-ticket voting and a photo identification requirement.  

It’s also tremendous that the “divide and conquer” Dropout Governor from the suburbs got beat by voters in the urban places that Walker has used as a punching bag that rose up in bigger numbers than ever before.
The most arresting features of Evers' win and Walker's loss were massive Democratic landslides in Dane and Milwaukee counties, the two big blue bastions that delivered far higher margins for Democrats than they did four years earlier. 
Democrats won Dane County in the 2014 governor's race by some 102,000 votes; they won the county Tuesday by more than 150,000 votes and 50 points.  Democrats won Milwaukee County by just under 100,000 votes in the 2014 governor's race; they won it by almost 140,000 votes in the 2018 race for governor, based on unofficial returns.  
Interestingly, Walker got less votes in both Dane and Milwaukee counties in 2018 than in 2014, despite the fact that turnout in Milwaukee County increased by 27,000 compared to 4 years ago, and Dane County turnout spiked by 42,000 (!) compared to the last Governor’s race.

Walker’s strategy to polarize the burbs vs the city didn’t work as well this time, as Evers shaved off 18,000 off of Walker’s advantage in Waukesha County vs 2018, 5,300 from Walker’s win in Ozaukee County, and 3,000 from Washington County. I mentioned yesterday that while Evers was going to lose these counties, it was up to him not be obliterated like Burke was, and he did just well enough to keep that from happening.

And no, Walker can’t tap Diane Hendricks or the Kochs for a recount, because of something Walker himself signed into law less than a year ago.
The state is tightening the rules for conducting election recounts, under legislation signed by Gov. Scott Walker Thursday…. 
Under the bill, candidates could request recounts only if they lost by 1 percentage point or less in an election with at least 4,000 votes total. For elections that don't receive that many votes, the candidate would need to lose by no more than 40 votes for a [recount].  
While the Governor’s race was a lot closer than I wanted or could handle for most of the night, and that I’m displeased that voters gave Evers no help downticket (gerrymandering works in 2018, folks), it’s tremendous to know that Walker’s Reign of Error is going to end. And much of what did in Walker was the partisan and arrogant act that he and the rest of WisGOP pulled for the last 8 years - an act that Robbin' Vos seems determined to continue after Walker is out of office.

This is what you get….


  1. In a perfectly fitting end to the hard-fought campaign, Scott Walker screws his most devoted supporters by being a no-show at the election-night party. These people stayed up well into the morning hours, anxiously watching the razor-thin vote tallies come in, eventually ending the night in disappointment. Where is their leader? Presumably pouting in his hotel room.

    Not to worry, though. Several hours into the next day, Walker finally posts a Bible verse on Facebook.

    As a resident of Milwaukee County, I have dealt with Scott Walker’s sanctimonious, hypocritical, and downright immoral garbage since 2002. So glad to finally erase him from my life.

  2. I think repeal of Act 21 and the REINS act are something Democrats ought to work with the GOP on. Also giving the Gov the power to sell off state assets. I am sure there are other examples where the Vos/Fitzy legislature took authority from the agencies and gave it to the executive branch. Those laws should be repealed. Not that I trust these jerks to do that but maybe Dems should take a hard look at how the balance changed in the past 8 years and make corrections.

    1. Don't get me wrong. If they want to remove rulemaking and have fewer appointed hacks in state government, that's a fine idea.

      But let's not pretend that this is being floated out there for reasons of good government. This is pathetic, Fascist partisan fuckery, and Vos is likely to find out that's the last thing people are asking for.

  3. I agree, this is pretty pathetic. Vos has always struck me as a little weasel willing to sell out anyone for a few bucks or favors, and this is coming from a pretty die-hard Republican.

    1. Never thought I would see the day! Thanks for this comment.