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A Lame-Duck “Legislative Coup”: Wisconsin GOP Stages Last-Minute Power Grab Before Dems Take Office


This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. And I’m Juan González. Welcome to all of our listeners and viewers across the country and around the world. We begin today’s show in Wisconsin, where
Republican lawmakers are orchestrating an unprecedented power grab to weaken incoming
Democratic Governor Tony Evers before he takes office. In an extraordinary move that some are calling
a “legislative coup,” Republican legislators have worked throughout the night to pass a
sweeping package of lame-duck bills to give power to the Republican-controlled Legislature
before Republican Governor Scott Walker leaves office in January. Republicans in both houses worked throughout
the early morning to gather enough votes to pass the bills. Both houses are still in session now. At 7 a.m. Eastern time, the Associated Press reported
that the Wisconsin Senate passed a measure to limit the power of the Democratic governor
and attorney general-elect and restrict early voting periods. Earlier Wednesday morning, the Senate and
Assembly passed a bill enacting a Medicaid work requirement and limiting the incoming
governor’s ability to change state laws that require able-bodied adults without children
to work in order to receive public benefits. On Tuesday, protesters took to the state Capitol
in Madison for a second day to oppose the power grab. Respect our vote! Respect our vote! Respect our vote! Respect our vote! Respect our vote! Respect our vote! The Legislature is also considering measures
to move up the 2020 presidential primary election to help a far-right judge remain on the state
Supreme Court and allow the Legislature to sidestep Wisconsin’s incoming Democratic
attorney general in certain legal battles. This is Democratic state Representative Chris
Taylor speaking Monday. Ever in the history of the state of Wisconsin,
has there been an extraordinary session convened to take away the powers of a newly elected
governor and a newly elected attorney general? Republican lawmakers are making a similar
push for power with lame-duck bills in Michigan. These actions are in part modeled after a
Republican power grab in North Carolina two years ago, when the Republican-controlled
Legislature weakened the incoming Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s ability to appoint
Cabinet members, among other actions. Well, for more, we’re going to Madison,
Wisconsin. We’re joined by Ruth Conniff, editor-at-large
of The Progressive magazine, which is based there, her most recent piece headlined “Wisconsin
Republicans Make Unprecedented Power Grab. The People Push Back.” Ruth, welcome to Democracy Now! Great to be here. I assume you’ve been up all night; at least
the legislators have. What is happening in the Wisconsin Legislature? Well, what’s happening in the Wisconsin
Legislature continues to unfold. But as of 4:00 this morning, the Legislature
had managed to pass the first of this raft of bills to grab power from incoming governor,
Tony Evers, before he takes office. And the bill that is going to go to Scott
Walker’s desk next is the bill that insists on work requirements for Medicaid recipients
and, more broadly, gives the Legislature the power to review all federal waivers that the
governor might want to seek to get out of, that Scott Walker sought. So that’s very significant, because it’s
putting the Legislature in charge of everything related to healthcare that might involve a
federal waiver. And that’s a whole, large, broad array of
possible acts that the governor might want to take. The background, though, I think what’s really
important to understand, is that here in Wisconsin in 2018 Democrats won every single statewide
race. And our Legislature is still Republican-dominated
because it is the most gerrymandered set of districts, legislatively, in the United States
of America. It’s been the subject of a federal lawsuit. A federal judge found it to be unconstitutional,
the map that was drawn in secret to lock Republicans into power in the state Legislature. It went all the way to the Supreme Court and
was turned back on a technicality. The Supreme Court found that the plaintiff
in the case didn’t have standing. So, this is going to continue to be litigated. Because of their gerrymandered districts,
the Republicans have held onto power in our state Legislature even as they’ve lost power
at every—in every statewide office. So they have called this extraordinary lame-duck
session in order to ram through a series of measures that basically decapitate the executive
branch and give the Legislature itself power over an enormous number of things, whether
it’s agencies, whether it’s making the attorney general come to the Legislature,
and specifically to a committee, a Republican-dominated committee within the Legislature, to get permission
to pursue lawsuits, whether it’s settlement money potentially in lawsuits. That’s all controlled by the Legislature
now. And then limiting early voting, which is very
significant, because Wisconsin had record turnout in 2018. And because of early voting, which the Legislature
had tried to cut off—and then a federal judge intervened and said, “No, it’s unconstitutional”—there
were enormous numbers of Wisconsin citizens who voted early. And the Legislature is now—and both houses
have passed this; they need to get together on it, but they have limited early voting
to two weeks. So, instead of six weeks, as it was here in
Dane County, where we had presidential-level turnout, they’re going to have two weeks. And again, it’s just an effort to suppress
the will of the people and to concentrate power in the state Legislature. Well, Ruth, in terms of the limits on the
governor’s appointment powers, could you go into some of the specifics of what is actually
happening with some of these agencies? Some of them, they’re actually packing with
more members, that the Legislature— Yes. —would have say over? Yes. So, for example, the Wisconsin Economic Development
Corporation, which has replaced the Commerce Department under Governor Scott Walker, it’s
a scandal-plagued agency that hands out gifts to corporations that promise to create jobs. The Legislature has taken away the governor’s
power to appoint the head of that agency. They’re still working this out. It still needs to be signed by Scott Walker. But this is where they’re going. And there was debate on it as I walked into
the studio. They plan to pack the board so that, until
September—and this is a recent redo. This is as of 4:00 this morning. They plan to pack the board with Republican-chosen
members, so that the governor can’t appoint the head of the board anymore and the Republican
Legislature controls the makeup of the board. After September, they say it will be balanced. They’ll be chosen by legislators from the
Democratic Party and the Republican Party. But they are—what they are fundamentally
doing is undoing Tony Evers’ campaign promise to get rid of this agency altogether, because
it has handed out tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money to corporations that have
failed to create jobs. And one of the smaller provisions— Including—and one of those corporations
was Foxconn, as well? Foxconn. Foxconn, which is a big—yeah, it’s a big
company that our state has given an enormous amount of subsidy money to and really is a—was
a major issue in the campaign, because it’s a gigantic subsidy for this corporation that
is not creating a lot of jobs, and hiring people actually from Illinois, to make big
flat screens that will probably be obsolete shortly. There are a number of corporations that have
received tens of millions of dollars from the state of Wisconsin. In this bill that the Legislature is pushing
through right now, they remove the requirement that those corporations even demonstrate that
they’re creating jobs. That was a requirement that they were failing
to meet, and it’s the reason that the public is so, so up in arms against this Wisconsin
Economic Development Board. It’s going to continue to exist. The Republicans are going to pack the board. And now they’re going to take away the requirement
that the corporations they give money to, taxpayer money to, even show that they’re
even doing anything in exchange for that money. Couldn’t Foxconn well be the reason why
the governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, lost—I mean, the touting of Foxconn coming to Wisconsin,
and then people recognizing how much it would actually cost them? And, Ruth, before we go on, for people who
aren’t familiar with Wisconsin politics—I mean, we were there in 2011, the massive protests
that were held on the Capitol grounds against Scott Walker going after the public unions—the
significance of what Walker is doing in just having been defeated in his race? Yes. It is really a replay of 2011, when we saw
those historic protests. What is happening is, similarly, the public
is shocked to find out that our Legislature, in the middle of the night, is ramming through
a series of anti-democratic measures. A lot of people have come out to the Capitol. There were more than 1,300 members of the
public who, when they found out late on Friday afternoon that this series of bills was going
to be pushed through in this extraordinary lame-duck session to limit the powers of the
governor and attorney general before they could even take office, turned out at the
Capitol, registered against the bills. They all—all of the people who came out,
all 1,348—registered against the bill, except for one—there was one person in favor—testified
all night long, in dramatic hearings, and then, when they were locked out of the chamber
by Republicans who wanted to keep the public out, were pounding on the doors and chanting. There was a huge rally outside the Capitol. It was very reminiscent of 2011. And the same thing is at stake here. It is really a cabal of people in our state
Legislature trying to seize power and consolidate power for themselves and override basic democratic
processes. In 2011, they ignored the open meetings law,
and they rammed through legislation without giving Democrats time to consider it. And now what’s going on is very similar. Eighty appointments. Governor Scott Walker has made 80 appointments
in this extraordinary session, since Monday, without any public hearings and without any
disclosure of their financial interests. So, he is packing the University of Wisconsin
Board of Regents, he is packing the Public Service Commission, he is packing the Wisconsin
Economic Development Board with his friends and cronies, before the new governor can come
in. And this is expressly against what was discussed
in the campaign. The people of Wisconsin elected a Democratic
governor who was very clear he was going to eliminate that Economic Development Board
and he was going to expand access to healthcare. One of the things the Legislature has done
is to make sure that the new attorney general does not have the power to withdraw Wisconsin
from a federal lawsuit that opposes the Affordable Care Act. So, there’s just a huge effort here to prevent
the will of the people from being enacted by this new administration. And, Ruth, what’s happening in Wisconsin
is not just happening there. In Michigan, Republican state legislators
have also introduced several bills designed to clip the powers of the governor, attorney
general and secretary of state, after Democrats took all three offices in the midterm elections. One bill would allow the state Legislature
to get involved in any state legal proceedings which historically fell to the governor and
the state attorney general. So it seems that if Wisconsin succeeds, there
are going to be other states following in its footsteps. And even in addition to that, I would add
that it is a national strategy. What we’re seeing in Wisconsin and Michigan
is a national strategy by Republicans, who are losing their hold on power after the 2018
elections. They see a wave that is trying to push back
Republicans. And the response to that is to try to undo
democracy. It’s to try to limit voting. It’s to try to, very specifically, bring
in private attorneys—and this is happening both in Wisconsin and in Michigan—bring
in private attorneys to replace the attorney general, who represents the public. And in Wisconsin this is an issue, and in
Michigan this is an issue, because they’re going to bring these private attorneys into
court to represent the Legislature, which is Republican-dominated, instead of allowing
the executive and the attorney general, who are Democrats, to pursue those lawsuits, as
they always have, to make decisions about which lawsuits to pursue and to show up in
court. And just now in the Wisconsin Legislature,
there was a Republican senator standing up and saying they ought to be able to hear from
both sides: A judge ought to be able to sit there and see the attorney general representing
the state of Wisconsin and a private attorney representing the Republicans in the Legislature,
arguing against the state’s position right there in the same courtroom—which is chaotic. You have one side that’s represented by
two opposing points of view. So, this is— Could you talk also— You know, this is, I believe, very clearly
a national strategy. In Michigan, it’s also interesting just
to note that all three leaders, incoming Democratic leaders in Michigan, are women, which is a
first for Michigan. Yes. You have Gretchen Whitmer, the governor-elect. You have Jocelyn Benson, the secretary of
state, and Dana Nessel, the attorney general. One of the first times, I think, in the country
anywhere that the top three leaders of a state are going to be women. All women, all won by big, healthy margins. And all are pushing back against the same
agenda we’ve seen in Wisconsin, which is the disempowerment of unions and the interests
of the wealthy represented by a Republican Legislature that is pushing through major
tax cuts for corporations and very wealthy individuals—also part of the package in
Wisconsin that we’re seeing right now—and that is trying to subvert public education,
pouring public money into private schools. That’s a major issue both in Michigan and
Wisconsin. So, undoing the public sphere, concentrating
power and cutting taxes for the wealthy. And you see the public’s response, looking
at what’s happened. Over the last eight years here in Wisconsin,
we see our roads crumbling. We see people losing access to healthcare. We see our schools suffering from massive
budget cuts. And the public has really spoken on this,
and they have asked to remove Scott Walker from office. They’ve elected Democrats at every level. And they’re ready for a more humane state
and a better future. And instead, what we’re getting is an enormous
number of private attorneys who the Republicans in the Legislature now want to hire to represent
committees and members of the Legislature and legislative staff to do their business
in secret, to hold negotiations that could be subject to attorney-client privilege, when
it comes to lawsuits that are filed against the state or decisions that the attorney general
would want to make but would have to consult with the Legislature about lawsuits that he
would pursue. So you see this secrecy and a lot of public
expenditure on private attorneys in order to concentrate power for these Republicans
and their wealthy friends. Ruth, and in terms of public expenditures,
could you talk about the effort to add another primary in 2020, change the date of the presidential
primary, and what the meaning of that is? Well, this is the one piece of this package
of legislation that did not make it out of committee. So, it seems that the Republicans have been
shamed into dropping their effort to change the date of Wisconsin’s presidential primary. And what’s interesting about it is, there
is a Republican incumbent judge on the state Supreme Court—and we elect our state Supreme
Court justices here in Wisconsin—he was appointed by Scott Walker, and he will have
to face the public in an election that will come up at the same time that we’re holding
a presidential primary. So what the Republicans did was to propose
moving the election for the state Supreme Court off the date of the presidential primary. So they would hold two elections, in very
quick succession, at enormous expense, with potentially overlapping early voting. This is the origin of curtailing early voting,
to make sure that you can’t go and vote for your presidential candidate in the primary
and also vote for that state Supreme Court justice. There was so much news about this and so much
protest, that it never made it out of the Joint Finance Committee. That doesn’t mean it won’t come up again
on the floor. And it’s starting to get light outside,
so maybe they won’t try to include that in their package now. But I think what that shows—first of all,
they were willing to spend $7 million, over the objections of nearly every single local
election official in the state, to separate these elections, for no reason except to protect
a Republican justice from facing a high-turnout electorate. And I think what it really shows is that public
pressure and really bad national headlines shamed the Republicans into ramping that back. And what we’re seeing now is—you know,
they have been readjusting these bills as they work through the night. They were still writing bills, rewriting bills
and trying to get their caucuses together at midnight, and at 4:00 they began to bring
out new versions of these bills. So, for now, it seems like Wisconsin is going
to go ahead and have one election in the spring that will include the presidential primary
and the Supreme Court race. And, well, I mean, these are legislators voting,
so in the new session, a new set of legislators can vote. Is there any way this could be turned back? Well, the Republicans, this is—I mean, this
is what you have to understand about Wisconsin. The Republicans, although they lost overwhelmingly—and
they lost every single statewide race in 2018—they held onto power in the Legislature. There’s been virtually no change in the
makeup of both houses of the Wisconsin state Legislature. And the reason for that is that although many
more Wisconsinites voted Democratic than Republican in 2018, the Republicans actually picked up
some seats in the Legislature because they have drawn a map in which they have gerrymandered
their districts so that they have packed all the Democrats together in one small district
and they have stretched out the Republican districts to include every Republican they
can find in their area. And this has been the subject of a federal
lawsuit. And it will—the federal judge ruled against
Wisconsin, said it was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court, on appeal, turned it back
to the federal court. So this will come up again. And then, the big thing, the big threat for
Republicans in Wisconsin is that in 2020, after the census, they’re going to have
to draw new maps. And those new maps are going to have to pass
an executive who is a Democrat. So, they will not be able to do what they
did in 2010, which is to go into a back room in a law firm that was friendly to Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker, draw secret maps and then ram them through, only to be found that
they’re unconstitutional. And that’s where I think all of the things
that the Republicans in Wisconsin are doing now will come back to bite them. And just like Republicans across the country,
you know, they’re facing a demographic wave that’s against them. They’re facing popular opinion that’s
against them. And they’re doing everything they can to
consolidate and hang onto power at the last minute. But, ultimately, they will have to face the
voters. And so, this Legislature is not going to change
in this session, and they’re going to try to run the state and take powers away from
the governor. But they are not—it is a bad long-term strategy. And I spoke to many Republicans who came out
to the Capitol to say they would never vote Republican again, after watching this kind
of self-serving behavior. So, they’re losing their own constituents
with these maneuvers. Ruth Conniff, we want to thank you for being
with us, editor-at-large of the Wisconsin-based magazine The Progressive. Her most recent piece, we will link to, “Wisconsin
Republicans Make Unprecedented Power Grab. The People Push Back.” When we come back, Rick MacArthur, author
of Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War. We look back at George H.W. Bush’s legacy
when it comes to the Gulf War. Stay with us.

100 Comments

  1. West Winds
    West Winds December 5, 2018

    EXCELLENT report by Ruth Conniff !

  2. Dave S
    Dave S December 5, 2018

    Lock them up, lock them up. Citizens arrests!!!
    Harass the Republicons in the office, at their homes, in the stores, in the fields and on the beaches. Do shifts so they can't sleep.

  3. Shayke Speeer
    Shayke Speeer December 6, 2018

    Hmmmm, seem to remember people laughing at me when I said the USA was turning into a Fascist Country. Not so funny now, is it?!?!?!?!!

  4. Frank Glasser
    Frank Glasser December 6, 2018

    Republicans are bigger threat to democracy than the Putin's Russia

  5. Jonathan C.
    Jonathan C. December 6, 2018

    Time for a "physical" uprising to take out these corrupt weasels. Al the peaceful protesting in the world will do nothing. Wake up!

  6. Jonathan C.
    Jonathan C. December 6, 2018

    I used to love camping in Wisconsin as a young adult. Such a lush nature filled state. I never imagined that at the human core the state was really so putrid. What a let down.

  7. Karen
    Karen December 6, 2018

    How is this legal? America was never really a democracy and this crap proves it 😒

  8. luvyatubers
    luvyatubers December 6, 2018

    The Dems love when they can say that they can't do anything and get paid very well for it.

  9. TokenBlackman7
    TokenBlackman7 December 6, 2018

    If you can't win on the policy substance… Lie.
    If you still can't win on the policy substance… Cheat.

    #ContemporaryRepublicanism

  10. Joefenech Montalvo
    Joefenech Montalvo December 6, 2018

    Don’t be pussies these Republicans have to start being killed.

  11. kokolanza
    kokolanza December 6, 2018

    Thank you for this information.

  12. M. Happy
    M. Happy December 6, 2018

    This is insane.. how is this even legal? I'm sitting here watching this and shaking my head the whole time, thinking this isn't even possible… and yet it's happening before my eyes.

  13. Michael P
    Michael P December 6, 2018

    For every public dollar spent in service of a party agenda needs to be equally countered by cash given to the other side. Its a way to buy off the lawyers with public money. Making up legal shit and billing hour after hour after hour, holding shit up. LAWYERS need to be severley regulated. HEAVILY

  14. dvferyance
    dvferyance December 6, 2018

    The Governor does not hold all power. The legislature is also elected by the people. They are acting like the Governor is the sole person in charge here which is not the case.

  15. K!ng Knowledge
    K!ng Knowledge December 6, 2018

    This Is Republicans Nazis Fascist

  16. Riyaz Virani
    Riyaz Virani December 6, 2018

    Republicans are Crooks

  17. Scott-Tay
    Scott-Tay December 6, 2018

    Wow, this is really happening in the Land of the Free & the Home of the Brave. It started long before Trump.

  18. Dinal Abay
    Dinal Abay December 6, 2018

    Why does America let such blatant corruption continue? They should fire the whole lot of them and dissolve the legislature.

  19. Florida Fly Fishing
    Florida Fly Fishing December 6, 2018

    Read AOC's tweet they have republican footprints tattooed on the back of their necks. Evers went on cnn and didn't even sound upset WTF DNC=do nothing coalition. I WANT DEMS TO FIGHT!!!!

  20. Christopher Dixon
    Christopher Dixon December 6, 2018

    Very knowledgeable lady

  21. Astrobrant2
    Astrobrant2 December 6, 2018

    Imagine how big the crowds would have been if it wasn't the middle of the night and so friggin' cold!

  22. Astrobrant2
    Astrobrant2 December 6, 2018

    Ruth Conniff was an outstanding spokesperson. You go and tell it, girl!

  23. MORE1500
    MORE1500 December 6, 2018

    Federal funds for Wisconsin should be withheld until this is rectified.

  24. Dedication 666
    Dedication 666 December 6, 2018

    Maybe it’s time to start voting with your firearm instead of allowing these criminals destroy everything for years to come

  25. J W
    J W December 6, 2018

    GOOD! FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE AGAINST THE LEFT FOR ALL I CARE.

  26. Sandra Buckett
    Sandra Buckett December 6, 2018

    I'm so damned mad. Fricking Scott Walker! Because of him, I lost my MEDICAID! I was really hoping Evers would fix this, but NOOOOOO, Walker has to be a damned baby about this. He belongs with Trump, they both need to GROW UP!

  27. Xyz Same
    Xyz Same December 6, 2018

    They did the same in North Carolina I think when they where bothered with a Democratic govenor. Passing laws immediately that limit the power of the governor. [Edit: 2:30 – yes that was in NC). – Both parties are bought and paid for by the Big Donors – but the Republicans are especially incensed when the unwashed masses dare to vote in one of the other guys or gals (Can you imagine the shenanigans in Georgia if Stacy Abrams had won ?)

    Obama could have well been a Republican candidate. It is only because the Republican party specialiced in racism and dog whistles after the Civil Rights Act (under Nixon that became a well thought out strategy) that they do not get the black vote, and it would be very unlikely that a black candidate would make it in the primaries for the higher up races.

    Ben Carson is their token black man and Colin Powell (who did experience racism during his career) was their cleaner. He rewarded them with loyalty (Iran Contra scandal, the lie to get Bush his war – although he was very sceptical and the only one that stood up to Cheney).

  28. shammy davisjr
    shammy davisjr December 6, 2018

    Burn the fucking Capital to the ground. Find the home address of every Republican legislator .

  29. Old Wisdom
    Old Wisdom December 6, 2018

    I think Wisc should get out their guns and knives and go at it, last man standing wins. That looks like a Republican solution. Maybe the only one those idiots will understand how nice Democracy is.

  30. Happy Hippie US Army
    Happy Hippie US Army December 6, 2018

    This is just disgusting

  31. Rebecca Johnson
    Rebecca Johnson December 6, 2018

    This is UNBELIEVABLE! Why aren't these THUGS ARRESTED, FINE and put in jail for the rest of their lives! How is this allowed to go on, HOW????

  32. 8alot4t
    8alot4t December 6, 2018

    Surely such activities must be illegal. This is like blowing up the White House after the people vote out the administration. America and democracy is in serious jeopardy if the Republican party are allowed to behave in such ways. There is no wonder the nation is so divided; the Republican party is acting like a foreign power, destroying what most Americans hold sacred. God help America. If this is the future of politics in this nation voters may just as well vote for Putin as for the Republicans.

  33. Mike C
    Mike C December 6, 2018

    #RepugliKLANS are what's wrong with America

  34. Richard Mattingly
    Richard Mattingly December 6, 2018

    Walker and his herd are what's in store for most of America if they go unpunished and it's illegal under the Constitution to enact the laws there trying to pass. The 14th Amend. forbids any law that intentionally punishes or gives privilege to an individual/group and by admitting openly that these laws have a partisan intent it also proves malfeasance/non feasance in office they swore to uphold. People forget that the 14th Amend. made the Constitution the law in every state and voided a states the ability to ignore the Bill of Rights and it's protections within its borders. Indeed if the wack jobs in Wisconsin decided that the 20th Amend. which gave Women the right to vote no longer applied there it's a crime. If Walker signs these he can be charged with violating the Gov.. Elect duties once he's sworn in but his own obligations until,he leaves that office.

  35. W Serba
    W Serba December 6, 2018

    This is not an example of a peaceful power transfer. What has happened to legislative civility? Apparently the people's vote doesn't matter in Wisconsin. I used to live in a country where we prided ourselves in the peaceful transfer of power.

  36. Fstblack 12
    Fstblack 12 December 6, 2018

    Republican criminals are crooked bums .

  37. Allen Caruselle
    Allen Caruselle December 6, 2018

    RepubIicans: corruption is our brand

  38. KnowledgeGizmo
    KnowledgeGizmo December 6, 2018

    A bloodless coup. FIGHT BACK, Madison, Wisconsin.

  39. G C
    G C December 6, 2018

    Democracy Now, please run this story again with attorneys and law professors specializing in United States Constitutional Law.

    Stop calling blatant VIOLATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, and FELONY OBSTRUCTION, "power grabs", etc., as if these ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTIONS AND ABUSE OF POWER/AUTHORITY, are even remotely legal or Constitutional in the first place.

  40. Grace Antonio
    Grace Antonio December 6, 2018

    How sad that democracy is but a tool for the ruthless to rule sigh….

  41. Joe Lewis Henry
    Joe Lewis Henry December 6, 2018

    And this is happening in the land of "democracy "…

  42. Mac Daddy
    Mac Daddy December 6, 2018

    This is the Republican Party, they will do anything to keep power. They don’t care what the people want or what is morally right only what’s good for them and the Wealthy and Corporate class that donate to them. Despicable low life’s that could care less about democracy.

  43. Rose Collum
    Rose Collum December 6, 2018

    These government crooks wonder why we want them out of power. They have not shown one bit of interest in working for their constituents, just holding onto their bribes and power.

  44. jones1351
    jones1351 December 6, 2018

    The snakes reveal their fangs. Behold the viciousness and contempt for democracy on display by the republican party.
    How long will the peace hold?
    'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.' — John F. Kennedy

  45. joe fran
    joe fran December 6, 2018

    When you see them out in public, yell in their face maybe they will hear you then.

  46. joe fran
    joe fran December 6, 2018

    Don't let them be comfortable out in public.

  47. joe fran
    joe fran December 6, 2018

    When you see them out and about protest in their face.

  48. Imperial Dragon
    Imperial Dragon December 6, 2018

    At some point Americans are going to have to stop being scared and fight! Our democracy is lost, but we have precious little time to get it back. Those Americans voting Republicans right now are NOT patroits!

  49. donald trump
    donald trump December 6, 2018

    Wisconsin needs to vote for democratic senators they want to change the laws

  50. Linda Fleischer-Dobogai
    Linda Fleischer-Dobogai December 6, 2018

    The rise of the Radical Republicans in Madison led by Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald. For all of the world to see their total commitment to Ruthlessness, Power-Grabbing and Anti-Democratic values. I hope the backlash is immense and complete as the people of Wisconsin are not dumb enough to believe their lies.

  51. Comrade 269
    Comrade 269 December 6, 2018

    It goes it goes it goes it goes GUILLOTINE

  52. GrahamChapman
    GrahamChapman December 6, 2018

    Tie ropes into nooses, people, and leave repugniKKKunt politicians swinging from the branches of christmas trees.
    Let politicians who refuse to earn the people's trust instead live in fear of the people they're betraying.
    Let politicians who refuse to act civilized and who put themselves above the law meet uncivilized and extralegal fates.
    Let politicians who refuse to listen to the people and desecrate democracy be silent in their own graves.
    It's time to fucking lynch those fucking mother fuckers.

  53. Divine Charlen'ee
    Divine Charlen'ee December 6, 2018

    We got to try harder next year. Step our game up..💙. These devils be cheating

  54. Raymond Krawiec
    Raymond Krawiec December 6, 2018

    Go out people of Wisconsin and get some good old tar and feathering then ride them out on the rail . They don't respect the vote of the people why respect the lame ducks. How can one state have two of the biggest assholes in the Nation , Walker and Ryan !

  55. altitude illume
    altitude illume December 6, 2018

    #FASCISTFEDERALISTrepublicans

  56. altitude illume
    altitude illume December 6, 2018

    #wisconSINSrepublicanFASCISTS

  57. Helmut Christian Tomas
    Helmut Christian Tomas December 6, 2018

    Looks like the RipOfflicans (like those in Wisconsin) want to create the "angry mob" which their Orange Frontrunner has been conjuring.
    Up to now it were always angry right-wing idiots who made it into the headlines with school-shootings and attacks on public institutions. The Russian Party may change that, Putin would enjoy nothing better than the ignition of unrest in America and demonstrate that the USA is property of the rich, who buy both political parties.

  58. Norman1951 Norman
    Norman1951 Norman December 6, 2018

    Time for the pitchforks people of WI.

  59. J.U.C.E.
    J.U.C.E. December 6, 2018

    Republicans hate democracy.

  60. Bernie Rodgers
    Bernie Rodgers December 6, 2018

    WOLF-PAC.com

  61. Bernie Rodgers
    Bernie Rodgers December 6, 2018

    Get the money out of our politics!!! Wolf-PAC.com

  62. Reina Quintanilla
    Reina Quintanilla December 6, 2018

    Talk about sore losers smh

  63. 1Wrongbrother
    1Wrongbrother December 6, 2018

    This non sense could be avoided if people would quit fooling around trying to vote and throw both of these horse shit party's out on their asses they are totally useless.

  64. The Docklighter
    The Docklighter December 6, 2018

    Wisconsin: when Republicons ask for your vote, Remember the 5th of December. They showed they don't believe in democracy by & for the People.

  65. Bryan Bowen
    Bryan Bowen December 7, 2018

    This whole sorry episode shows the illusion that is democracy in the US right now.

  66. Meek Jahye
    Meek Jahye December 7, 2018

    The GOP in Wisconsin and Michigan is sending a message to the people of their states:

    "We hate you. We hate you so much and our policies suck so bad for you. We will never be able to convince you to vote for us, so why should we even both trying? Instead well just obstruct the people you vote for, make voting more difficult for you, and pray you don't notice."

    Well we noticed.

  67. Johnnyc drums
    Johnnyc drums December 7, 2018

    We only saw one side of this issue.

  68. Bond Institute
    Bond Institute December 7, 2018

    The French riot over gas prices. Just saying.

  69. M Savina
    M Savina December 7, 2018

    Keep fighting the white collar thugs Wisconsin!!
    Damn it pisses me off that this story only got a blip on MSM. Thank you Democracy Now.

  70. Kosgei
    Kosgei December 7, 2018

    I thought progressives were for a strong congress or legislature! Now progressives want an all powerful executive this is the hypocrisy of the left!!

  71. Ernesto Ybarra
    Ernesto Ybarra December 7, 2018

    Democracy Now darling Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has pledged to pay her interns $15 an hour. NO! TAX payers
    will. Socialist love to spend other people's money.

  72. Bruce  Swearingen
    Bruce Swearingen December 7, 2018

    Damn cheeseheads

  73. Deacon Verter
    Deacon Verter December 7, 2018

    Thank you, Ruth! Your perspicuous run-down was informative and enraging!

  74. Mr. Teacher
    Mr. Teacher December 8, 2018

    Why stop there? Why not pass a lame duck law voiding the election? Extending Walker's term for another year? Etc.

  75. Marock Space
    Marock Space December 8, 2018

    T shirt lame Duck available on Teepublic

    https://www.teepublic.com/t-shirt/3659799-lame-duck

  76. manuel kyriakakis
    manuel kyriakakis December 8, 2018

    The second amendment comes too mind for Wisconsin..

  77. Fabricio Aceves
    Fabricio Aceves December 8, 2018

    ?

  78. Henbot
    Henbot December 8, 2018

    Pretty sure those saying they won’t GOP because of this are lying

  79. Jraymiami
    Jraymiami December 8, 2018

    How is this legal in a democracy? Obliviously I don’t understand democracy!

  80. Umberto Eco
    Umberto Eco December 8, 2018

    Throw all these power hungry parasites in prison.

  81. Paul W.
    Paul W. December 9, 2018

    In the words of Thomas E. Mann, the GOP has become a radical insurgency.

  82. hermenutic
    hermenutic December 9, 2018

    Look at the positive side.
    At least the enemies of the People have publicly made themselves known.
    Now it's up to the People.

  83. Bridget Riley
    Bridget Riley December 10, 2018

    The only anti Americans I see are the lame ass liberals and lying ass Dems

  84. Bridget Riley
    Bridget Riley December 10, 2018

    Republicans are acting just like the Dems and liberals now and they hate it…what’s good for the goose is good for the gander…you cheat you get cheated on!

  85. Patricia M
    Patricia M December 10, 2018

    Supreme Court upholding GOP gerrymandering???? Supreme bias and corruption.

  86. Derrick Schnur
    Derrick Schnur December 10, 2018

    This is Ground Zero in the commencement of what will be the "Great War" to come across this country in the coming days. Mark my words, the republican leaders involved in these actions will be executed by the people of this country at some point in the future. It will happen because the people have had enough. It is as simple as that…..Enough!!!

  87. garman763
    garman763 December 10, 2018

    This is just so depressing.  These Republican lawmakers and their supporters are the absolute WORST! And I hope they don't get away with it, but honestly I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

  88. Dusty Davis
    Dusty Davis December 10, 2018

    Neither Tony Evers or Scott Walker should be in. Walker has been horrible and bribed companies to get in to begin with. Tony accepts sex offenders to work in schools. Not to mention he's done nothing for the schools all the superintendents are way over paid and do nothing

  89. Dusty Davis
    Dusty Davis December 10, 2018

    The laws put in placed are to protect anyone to have the single power to change things which is good. Which it will help him for things he put in place

  90. Dusty Davis
    Dusty Davis December 10, 2018

    Foxconn, print pack in rhinelander

  91. Dusty Davis
    Dusty Davis December 10, 2018

    Print pack offered a guaranteed bonus to employees if Scott Walker won when he first ran

  92. cajhilly
    cajhilly December 11, 2018

    Sounds like treason.

  93. The National Razor
    The National Razor December 11, 2018

    Its time for the torches and the pitchforks. Make the guillotine the official Wisconsin state tree.

  94. Mitchell Krouth
    Mitchell Krouth December 12, 2018

    Wisconsin people will fight tooth and nail to get the scum bags out of the office

    There is a big percentage of Wisconsin population that are brainwashed very easily because their lack of education they’re proud of not having education these people are the ones we need to worry about there running the state

  95. Christopher O'Neil
    Christopher O'Neil December 12, 2018

    I feel like Trump and Republicans are just a massive social experiment being run to find out how much shit the average people are willing to eat before they violently revolt. Are you just going to take it up the ass or are you gonna stand up for yourselves and fight for what's right ? Break out the guillotines and yellow vests like in France.. violence is the only way to end this kind of corrupt tyranny. "Peaceful protests" will only ever go so far and it often results in nothing more than a temporary slowing and incremental form of corruption.. it never FULLY deals with the problem.

  96. J. Arias
    J. Arias December 14, 2018

    Go Michigan.

  97. Eazy Street
    Eazy Street December 14, 2018

    PROOF THAT REPUBLICANS ARE VILLAINS AND HAVE NO LOVE FOR DEMOCRACY. SO MUCH FOR CHRISTIAN MORALS!

  98. Keith Tacket
    Keith Tacket December 16, 2018

    The gop is setting themselves up for extinction. Real Americans don't want them around anymore.
    The Democrats will be seeking payback and, we all know payback's a bitch.
    Bye-bye right-wing dimwits.

  99. Okechukwu Oku
    Okechukwu Oku December 17, 2018

    This is unhumane

  100. jazzy tootoo
    jazzy tootoo December 18, 2018

    Short term win GOP!! YOU WILL PAY IN 2020 …..ALL OF YOU WILL BE SWEPT OUT !! THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE MUST PREVAIL!! YOU WILL PAY…YOU THINK 2018 WAS A MASSACRE YOU JUST WAIT…..NO GOP MEMBER WILL GO UNSCATHED!!!! YOU WILL ALL FALL👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 VOTE! VOTE!! VOTE!!!

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