On Tuesday morning in the Capitol, Wisconsinites who believe in preserving existing voting rights and expanding them to make it easier and simpler for more citizens to be able to vote, won an important victory when Gov. Tony Evers vetoed five hyper partisan anti-voter measures passed earlier this year by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature. Common Cause in Wisconsin (CC/WI) was invited to be present at the event in the State Capitol building in Madison and we issued this strong statement in support of the Governor’s action and in opposition to further voter suppression measures from the Legislature. And, for more on the Evers vetoes and what that means, go here.
Common Cause in Wisconsin (CC/WI) has been in the forefront of opposition to these types of measures — which are based on unfounded conspiracy theories, debunked lies and massive disinformation perpetrated and condoned by a political party which continues to allow itself to be dominated and controlled by former President Donald Trump, who still refuses to accept the fact that he was decisively defeated in November of 2020. We warned about this scorched-earth policy back in January: Beware of GOP Voting Restrictions in Wisconsin.
Throughout this Spring and early Summer, CC/WI spoke out against the more than 20 hyper partisan voter suppression measures that were introduced in the Legislature without any bipartisan support or in consultation with any of the non-partisan voting rights organizations in Wisconsin such as CC/WI. We issued several extensive calls to action for CC/WI members and activists to write to their Wisconsin State Representatives and State Senators expressing opposition to these anti-voter measures and they (you!) responded overwhelmingly! In total, Common Cause Wisconsin has generated 5094 letters to state legislators and an additional 605 letters to Gov. Evers urging his veto of these misguided, ill-conceived measures.
This is proof positive that citizen activism and contacting your elected officials is a critical element in this ongoing struggle to combat anti-democratic measures designed to reduce and restrict citizen participation in our elections. We need to sustain this elevated level of engagement in the months and years ahead.
In addition to the voter suppression legislation still snaking its way through the Legislature there is also conspiracy-theory inspired efforts to mount an “Arizona-style’ forensic audit of the 2020 election by some GOP members of the Legislature led by Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls). She has even issued subpoenas of questionable legal validity to seize all the ballots of voters from Milwaukee and Brown Counties at a cost of likely hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds. Attorneys for the Wisconsin Legislature on Wednesday said that Brandtjen’s subpoenas are not valid. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has said he opposes the Brandtjen forensic audits but he has devised his own 2020 witch hunt by hiring (yes, at taxpayer expense) former rightwing Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to act as a sort of “special prosecutor” of the 2020 election. Gableman is easily the most partisan, least impartial and least respected Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice in state history. For more on this and on what CC/WI thinks is behind much of this, read this very recent article published in the Public News Service.
How best to combat the Brandjten and the Vos/Gablemen assaults on democracy and war on Wisconsin voters? You already know the answer to that question. Keep on doing what so many of you have been doing: taking an active role in combatting this disinformation and these lies by raising a little Hell. With your own state legislators, with legislative leaders, in letters to the editors of your papers, and with your family, friends and neighbors. If ever there was a time to get off the sidelines and get involved, it’s now.
Thank you for being one of the most engaged and active state memberships in the nation. Your children, grandchildren, and all of us will thank you too.
On Wisconsin. Forward!
CC/WI Executive Director