December 4, 2018

12-4-2018 Republicans across the US are trying to exploit lame-duck sessions before they leave office…(Vox)

  • Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, is pushing for one last power grab in his final month in office, a move that may signal a larger GOP agitation over newfound Democratic power in some purple states. [The Nation / John Nichols]
  • Shortly after the midterm election, Walker is moving ahead with a sweeping lame-duck agenda, hoping to slash early voting, change the election calendar to favor the GOP, and shrink the power of the state attorney general, an incoming Democrat. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / Molly Beck and Patrick Marley]
  • Another proposed bill would limit the power of Gov.-elect Tony Evers to enact administrative rules that implement state laws. [AP / Scott Bauer]
  • Evers, who narrowly edged out Walker by some 30,000 votes in a key toss-up race for the Democratic Party, and Josh Kaul (the attorney general-elect) both slammed the moves. Evers notably said: “It is an embarrassment for the state and I think we can stop it.” [Madison State Journal / Riley Vetterkind]
  • Marc Elias, a high-powered Democratic attorney who served as general counsel on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and recently traveled to Florida to oversee the recounts in the Senate and governor races, threatened Wisconsin Republicans with a lawsuit, tweeting that they won’t cut early voting “without a fight.” [Twitter / Marc E. Elias]
  • But the Wisconsin GOP is not alone in this effort. Michigan state Rep. Rob VerHeulen introduced a bill to allow the state House of Representatives and Senate to intervene in any legal proceedings involving the state, a task currently taken care of by the state attorney general and governor. Both these positions will be assumed by Democrats come January. [Detroit Free Press / Kathleen Gray]
  • There’s a long history of opposition parties attempting to use lame-duck sessions to advance their agendas. Notably, Wisconsin Democrats unsuccessfully tried to push through public union contracts in 2010 ahead of Walker’s gubernatorial tenure. [Reuters / Joseph Ax]

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