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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com

After Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker refused to allow special elections in two vacant legislative districts, he was sued by voters in those districts and voting rights activists.

On Thursday, Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds ordered Walker to schedule those elections, saying, “To state the obvious, if the plaintiffs have a right to vote for their representatives, they must have an election to do so.”

Now Republicans in Wisconsin have a brilliant idea: change the law to make what Walker did legal.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican, is considering legislation to block Reynolds’ order, saying the logistics are too “messy” to allow elections. Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Robyn Vos condemned Reynolds as an “activist judge,” despite the fact that Reynolds is one of Walker’s own appointees.

The real motive behind blocking special elections in Assembly District 42 and Senate District 1 is obvious: Republicans are afraid they will lose.

“Republicans are clearly intimidated by the thought of losing power and would rather create chaos and confusion going into a tough re-election year,” said Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling.

Both districts, vacated by Republican lawmakers who joined Walker’s administration, lean red. But Democrats are flipping red seats blue all over the country, including a Senate seat, a House seat, and several dozen seats in state legislatures — one of which was in Wisconsin.

Even though plenty of other Republican-controlled states are still moving forward with special elections, like Arizona, Walker can’t bear to take the risk.

As brazen as it is, changing state law in order to exempt Walker from following it has become a thing for Wisconsin Republicans. A few years ago, the legislature passed a law making anonymous investigations of governors illegal, because Walker had been the target of one.

Nor is this behavior unique to Wisconsin. All around the country, Republicans have openly undermined courts when they do not get their way.

In Pennsylvania, the GOP is moving to impeach state Supreme Court justices after their scheme to rig congressional districts was deemed illegal. And after judges in Kansas blocked Republicans from defunding public schools, Republicans responded by defunding the courts.

But nothing in this fiasco is likely to encourage voters to give Walker a third term. He is already the second-least popular Republican governor in the country.

Wisconsin Republicans clearly do not trust that voters will keep them in power. Given the desperate lengths to which they’re going to try to preserve that power, they have every reason to fear what voters will do get to go to the polls.

 

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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New details about the direct role that Donald Trump played in developing a strategy to overturn the 2020 election were revealed in a federal court filing from election coup attorney John Eastman late Thursday.

Eastman is several months into a battle to keep records of his work for Trump in the run-up to January 6 confidential. but in his latest parry to bar access to emails he says should be protected under attorney-client privilege, he has revealed that Trump sent him at least “two hand-written notes” containing information “he thought might be useful for the anticipated litigation” challenging election results.

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