November 27, 2018

Mike Browne, Deputy Director
[email protected]
(608) 444-3483

Schemes Run the Gamut From Lame and Lamer to Lamest

MADISON, Wis. — Republicans in control of the state legislature are huddling behind closed doors in Madison today to continue their efforts to undermine the will of Wisconsin voters. The GOP has indicated they could convene a lame duck session after Democrats swept every statewide office on the November general election ballot, including Governor and Attorney General. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross rated the Republican schemes being circulated as possible topics as lame, lamer and lamest.

“The message from Wisconsin voters just a few short weeks ago was clear in handing Republicans losses in every statewide office on the ballot,” said Ross. “But instead of respecting the results and working with Democrats they’re cooking up schemes that run the gamut from lame and lamer to lamest.”

Based on public comments from top Republicans and media reports, on the docket for possible action in a legislative session prior to the inauguration of the new governor and other state officers are:

THE LAME: The original purpose of the lame duck session was to try to pass a Foxconn style $100 million tax giveaway to Kimberly-Clark. The Texas headquartered corporation has, according to state tax records, paid $1 in Wisconsin income tax since 2013. Because the GOP proposed giveaway includes refundable credits, Wisconsin taxpayers would literally be writing checks to the corporation. The deal would also allow Kimberly-Clark to reap the windfall while closing a Wisconsin factory and laying off over 100 workers.

THE LAMER: Assembly Republican leader Rep. Robin Vos has said he wants to pack the board of the scandal plagued Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) with political loyalists. The quasi-private entity has created more scandal than job headlines, serving as a conduit for state subsidies for Republican campaign donors.

While Vos wants to pack WEDC with GOP political loyalists, Gov.-elect Tony Evers has called for more accountability and transparency in how state economic development funds are managed.

THE LAMEST: Republicans are touting a change to the date of the Wisconsin presidential primary in Wisconsin in order to try to help protect Daniel Kelly, a Scott Walker appointee to the State Supreme Court who will be on the ballot in the Spring 2020 elections. Kelly had no prior judicial experience before his appointment but served as a lawyer for a right-wing foundation.

Republicans are seeking to protect Kelly from potential high turnout among Democrats by moving the presidential primary from April, when it would held concurrent with regularly scheduled elections for local offices and the Supreme Court, to March. That would mean statewide elections would be held in February, March and April in 2020.

In addition to being an affront to democracy, local clerks have raised serious concerns about the cost of adding a third election, the confusion associated with having overlapping absentee and early voting and other logistical challenges, particularly for military personnel serving overseas.

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