Skip to main content

Scott Walker, the entire Wisconsin State Assembly, and half the State Senate are running for re-election this year so Republicans are frantically putting in place some extra-special voter suppression laws before November.  The laws they've already passed just keep getting blocked by the courts so new laws just keep getting passed and signed.  

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signs the Voter ID Bill into law at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday, May 25, 2011. The bill is a requirement that voters in Wisconsin show photo identification at the polls, marking the end of a nearly decade-long
Since the courts have blocked some of the most heinous of their previously passed laws, new bills are being rammed through in the final days of the Legislative Session aimed at preventing those pesky Democratic voters from undermining the ferocity of their gerrymandered redistricting.  They're counting on those shiny new, secretly created district maps to keep the GOP in the majority for the rest of eternity by packing Democratic voters into a tiny number of districts, but need extra voter suppression to guarantee victory.

So Scott Walker is today threatening to call a Special Legislative Session if the courts continue to block those laws that he needs.  Particularly now with the damage done by the Rindfleisch email dump and the downgrading of his re-election chances (to "likely Republican) by the Cook Report.  Walker wants a blow out to propel him into the Presidential race.

And that Special Session, if needed to ensure voter suppression, will be used to pass a new spate of bills to be eagerly signed by Governor Ultrasound to ensure that blow out victory he wants just as badly as his Republican colleague Chris Christie.

Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday he wanted to call a special legislative session if courts this spring do not uphold the state's voter ID law, which has been blocked since soon after it was enacted.

Shortly after taking over all of state government in 2011, Republicans passed a law requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. In 2012, two Dane County judges blocked the measure.

Those cases are now before the state Supreme Court, which is expected to rule by June. Separately, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman is considering two other cases that argue the voter ID law violates the U.S. Constitution and federal Voting Rights Act.

Adelman and the state Supreme Court may not rule until after the legislative session ends in early April. Any one ruling against the voter ID law would keep the measure from going into place.

The State Supreme Court, with it's 4/3 RW majority, will likely support the GOP.  The federal courts aren't likely to be so kind.

So, they'll just keep passing more bills in the Special Session.  The Republican strategy seems to be

If at first you don't succeed, try again.  And then try again and again and again and again into infinity.
Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) criticized Walker's comments, saying the governor should be focused on the economy. Walker's stance "tells me he is not focused like a laser on anything but getting re-elected."

"The last thing he should be focused on right now is figuring out a way to keep people from voting," Erpenbach said.

But that's exactly what they're focused on;  making sure Republicans keep complete control over Wisconsin.  Tens of millions of dollars in spending, plenty of dark money groups to attack Democrats, gerrymandered districts, and voter suppression will, in their minds, guarantee success.

And now they're working on a bill to limit early voting in cities (pssst, that's where most of those pesky Democratic voters live).  It will limit early voting in cities to weekdays between 8 AM and 7 PM.  No weekend early voting will be permitted.  

Severely restricting early voting WILL lead to long lines at polling places just as the required "signature" of the voter in the polling book has already done.  Add to that the display of a very specific type of ID (e.g. college student ID is no good, but concealed carry permit is acceptable ID) and you have even longer lines.  Long lines discourage people from voting.

You can't stand in a long line if you have to leave work and go home to take care of your small children.  Or if you need to get to your second job.  And requiring people to stand in deliberately created long lines to participate in the most basic function of democracy, voting, spitting in the face of the very concept of democracy.

In other news, they're also ramming through another bill that will enable lobbyists to donate money earlier than ever.

The Senate also plans to approve a bill that would allow lobbyists to give campaign donations to lawmakers and other state candidates starting April 15 of election years — moved up from June 1. Supporters say the change is needed because partisan primaries have been moved up from September to August, lengthening the campaign season.

Senators have backed off from another change that would have allowed lobbyists to pass on campaign checks from others during the legislative session. They also have decided for the moment not to advance a bill that would have put in state law a long-standing rule that says when spending must be disclosed for political ads.

(bolding is mine)

That's right.  Fooling around with disclosure laws allowing funders of political ads to essentially not have to identify themselves as well as allowing lobbyists to donate to campaigns during a Legislative Session ended up being something they backed off on when those measures were brought to the attention of the public.  They hoped that they could just ram them through with a plethora of other bills at the end with nobody noticing.

I guess the jokes making the rounds about lobbyists moving around the floor during votes stuffing hundred dollar bills into the pockets of Legislators made them a bit too uncomfortable to pass those measures during an election year.  Expect to see them as soon as the election is over.


UPDATE:  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a poll up asking whether Scott Walker should continue to push for Voter ID if the courts rule against it.

Currently 63% NO, 37% yes, but the RWNJs haven't mobilized on this yet to push the "yes vote" up.

As of 6:30 PM Central Time, it's still 63% NO.  Good news.

As of 1:54 AM Central Time, the RWrs have flooded in, but still 52% NO.


Originally posted to Puddytat on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:56 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Bob Johnson, Duckman GR, Mimikatz, KeithH, Trix, Mogolori, dragonlady, teacherken, left of center, karlpk, Eman, eeff, rubyr, xynz, Ahianne, exNYinTX, Creosote, opinionated, whenwego, highacidity, KMc, chimpy, jalbert, Iberian, dksbook, revsue, manneckdesign, TexDem, wdrath, NYFM, defluxion10, lcrp, Sembtex, Vicky, Steven D, radarlady, NoMoreLies, ichibon, blueyedace2, liberalcheesehead, Simplify, dewtx, juliesie, snacksandpop, fixxit, eru, bleeding blue, Ice Blue, markdd, Sandino, kazoo of the north, peacestpete, Alan Arizona, myboo, profundo, bastrop, ruleoflaw, StrayCat, JVolvo, el cid, ER Doc, middleagedhousewife, llbear, onionjim, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoregon, kurt, Statusquomustgo, NancyWH, ipsos, AllanTBG, Aaa T Tudeattack, old wobbly, BeninSC, Habitat Vic, ColoTim, Matt Z, sfbob, Rosalie907, jnhobbs, skod, Azubia, Don midwest, TomP, Empower Ink, Youffraita, elwior, skohayes, Buckeye Nut Schell, alasmoses, Its any one guess, jamess, Lujane, TokenLiberal, Jeff Y, petulans, HarpboyAK, billybam, shortgirl, 207wickedgood, Louisiana 1976, ARS, nchristine, bobatkinson, zephyr108, notrouble, Remediator, asym, stevenwag, sfarkash, Tortmaster, Railfan, Just Bob, parse this, confitesprit, flitedocnm, klompendanser, Polly Syllabic, sunny skies, 2questions, cordgrass, ericlewis0, Loose Fur, slice, theKgirls, Onomastic, kerflooey, bgblcklab1, slowbutsure, anyname, lexalou, Nicci August, Teiresias70, badscience, thomask, BarackStarObama, MRA NY, RMForbes, Joe Hill PDX, peregrine kate, MinistryOfTruth, Caddis Fly, bakeneko, Vatexia, jolux, CoyoteMarti, Auriandra, No one gets out alive, AnnetteK, jacey, sow hat, leathersmith, Siri, ahumbleopinion, The Lone Apple, barkingcat, a2nite, This old man, peachcreek, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, Arahahex, MartyM, jennyp, Glen The Plumber, Villanova Rhodes, wasatch, exterris, peptabysmal, Robynhood too, live1, GeoffT, Stude Dude, Ashes of Roses, isewquilts2, Lily O Lady, Chaddiwicker, poopdogcomedy, HedwigKos, Jollie Ollie Orange, howabout, bob152, Smoh, ET3117, Catkin, ExDU12, RUNDOWN, ginimck, wilywascal, hbk, AJayne, Shawn87

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site