(MADISON, WI) — The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is proud to announce the launch of its Save the Veto initiative, a campaign to prevent Republicans from gaining a supermajority in each chamber of the state legislature. Due to gerrymandering, the GOP is just three seats away from the ⅔ control they would need to override Gov. Tony Evers’ veto in both the Assembly and state Senate.
The scale of DPW’s Save the Veto program is unprecedented. With the support of Gov. Evers, the party has already raised over $2 million for the initiative, with more significant investments to come. Save the Veto will work both to protect incumbent Democrats and challenge vulnerable Republican legislators.
“The will of the people is the law of the land, and the people of our state deserve elected officials who will listen to those we were elected to serve,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “From Medicaid expansion to nonpartisan redistricting to two-thirds funding for our public schools, Republicans in the legislature have time and again ignored a majority of people in our state who want access to affordable healthcare, fair elections, and good public schools. Protecting the veto ensures that no branch of government goes unchecked and that the will of the people will always be the law of the land in Wisconsin.”
In 2011, Republican legislators gerrymandered Wisconsin’s maps so egregiously that in 2018 when Democratic candidates for Assembly won 54% of the total popular vote, they walked away with just 36 of 99 seats in the chamber. These maps were ruled unconstitutional by a federal court in 2016.
Legislative Republicans immediately set out to undermine Gov. Evers’ incoming administration after his 2018 victory. In a lame duck session conducted just weeks after election day, legislative Republicans, with the help of outgoing Gov. Scott Walker, passed legislation to severely limit the authority of the incoming governor and attorney general. The Republican legislature has since refused to take action on gun safety reform, Medicaid Expansion, special education funding, and a host of other issues with broad public support.
“Republicans have so thoroughly rigged themselves into power that Wisconsin is nearly a minority-rule state,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler. “Save the Veto will stop Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald’s supermajority, ensure Democrats continue to wield the executive power that voters elected them to hold in 2018, and prevent the GOP from re-rigging the maps in the 2021 redistricting process.”
“It is absolutely essential that we’re able to build on the progress we’ve made under Gov. Evers in the years to come,” said Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Jennifer Shilling. “We’re energized that DPW is taking aggressive action at this critical moment for our state.”
“Legislative Republicans will stop at nothing to shore up power for themselves,” said Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz. “With redistricting on the line in 2021, there’s never been a more important time to invest in state legislative races. The stakes are too high not to.”