Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Walker's special elections fiasco goes nationwide, now seeking favorable court!!! Oh, Citizenship question may makes states redder.

UPDATE: You won't believe what the court said:

"Representative government and the election of our representatives are never 'unnecessary,' never a 'waste of taxpayer resources,' and the calling of the special elections are, as the governor acknowledges, his 'obligation,'" the order reads.
AG Brad Schimel proved once and for all to voters, just before the election, that he's not defending the state or federal Constitution, he's defending his party leader Scott Walker.

Just prior to the decision....

Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislature are perfectly fine breaking our special election law. Reaching into their successful bag of tricks, they're now doubling down on their mistake by changing the law in defiance of a court order. Not even my conservative Trumpian friend is on board with this scheme. But if that's not crazy authoritarian enough, making "representation" optional...well?
Lawmakers are set to take comments on a bill that would eliminate requirements that the governor promptly call special elections to fill legislative vacancies. Current state law requires Walker to call special elections to fill vacancies that occur before early May of an election year but he has refused to schedule the contests.
Walker's AG lapdog Brad Schimel, who at one time was Waukesha County District Attorney in 2006, is going back home for a favorable ruling in front of a friendly court just like he always does:
The state Department of Justice on Wednesday asked the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Waukesha to give Walker until April 6 to call the elections. A Dane County judge on Tuesday rejected Walker's request for the delay. The Senate is returning on April 4 to vote on a bill that would prohibit any special legislative elections this year.
This fiasco has gotten major news coverage by every media outlet, mostly because of Walker's "bold" "unintimidated" balls to cancel elections at will, even before Republicans pass legislation that makes this outrageous action legal. Here's Ari Berman's take:



Republicans have been working on that "right to rule" idea for a long time, where it's now common knowledge that liberals and Democrats are second-class citizens akin to terrorists mucking things up for everyone else.

Republican Rep. Robin Vos makes that clear below, treating voters in Dane County as somehow removed from reality, living in a liberal fantasy bubble that runs counter to what real Americans in rural Wisconsin want. Vos is appalled at the idea that a special election will put someone who's never had "a single day on the floor, never cast a single vote in the legislature"...of course, that doesn't make any sense, but got past Mike Gousha's question anyway.

From interpreting the Constitution to judges, voting, the environment, energy, food, and air quality, the Democrats always and responsibly spend way too much of our "hard-earned money" regulating everything:



Oh, and Scot Ross at One Wisconsin Now pointed out this jaw-dropping fact:
Gov. Scott Walker was himself elected in special elections to two of the three offices he has held during his nearly 25 years in elected office. 

“Scott Walker’s been in office for so long he seems to have forgotten it was a special election for the state legislature that got him into the government hammock 25 years ago,” said Ross ... it was nearly 25 years ago that Scott Walker’s first electoral win was in a special election for the Wisconsin State Assembly. In 2002, Scott Walker was elected in a special election as Milwaukee County Executive, the elected office he held until being elected governor in 2010. 

One Wisconsin Now’s research department has confirmed it has been 9,038 days since Walker was seated in the state Assembly following his first special election win.
Winning with Tricks, Not Ideas: Republicans have another trick up their sleeve if gerrymandering hits some kind of roadblock in the Supreme Court.
The Trump administration is adding a citizenship question to the census. Here’s why that’s bad for Democrats.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wrote, “I have determined that reinstatement of a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census is necessary to provide complete and accurate data in response to the DOJ request.”

Although this may seem like the arcane workings of the federal bureaucracy, it is a decision that carries potentially major political ramifications — most notably for Republicans' ability to gerrymander Democrats into the minority for years to come.
Census Citizenship Question another Republican Con: Here's the Washington Post's video that explains the GOP next big assault on representative government and voter suppression:


It would hand Republicans a new tool in redrawing districts even more in their favor! Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to take up a case called Evenwel v. Abbott … the Supreme Court did not prohibit states from drawing state legislative districts according to the voting-eligible population, and Justice Samuel Alito suggested that would be a future question for the court to decide. At issue is only whether state legislative districts could be drawn by voting-eligible population.

Alito's question was still in the realm of the hypothetical because it has been impossible to use that voting-eligible method, given that there has been no accurate census block data that included citizenship. Which is where the new Commerce Department decision comes in. With this question added, it can supply that data and open the door for states to actually draw districts according to who is and who is not eligible to vote. That could mean a significant reddening of the state legislative map — which, in turn, could help Republicans stave off Democratic control and keep redrawing all the maps.

Terri Ann Lowenthal, who has worked for many years as a leading census expert in the House of Representatives. “Between evidence that the administration is manipulating the census for political gain, and fear that the administration will use the census to harm immigrants, confidence in the integrity of the count could plummet. And the census is only as good as the public’s willingness to participate.”