Wisconsin’s New Democratic Governor: Republican Power Grab Is a ‘Hot Mess’

Former President Obama Campaigns With Wisconsin Democratic Candidates
MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 26: Tony Evers, Democratic candidate for governor of Wisconsin, speaks at a rally in support of Wisconsin Democrats at North Division High School on October 26, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Former President Barack Obama also spoke at the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson—Getty Images

The Democratic governor whose election prompted Wisconsin Republicans to introduce legislation that would weaken the next administration’s power says those bills should be vetoed.

“The entire thing is a mess, it’s a hot mess,” Wisconsin Governor-elect Tony Evers said on Meet the Press on Sunday morning. “If [outgoing Republican Gov.] Scott Walker had won this election, we wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you today.”

Evers told NBC’s Chuck Todd that he spoke with Walker over the phone last week to encourage the governor to veto the bills, and ensure that “the vote of the people was upheld, and we’re putting people in front of politics.” He added that it’s also “just bad legislation.”

The package of bills introduced by Wisconsin legislators would give the still-Republican legislature control of some political appointments and give the legislature the power to sign off on withdrawals from federal lawsuits, sidestepping the attorney general, CBS News reported. Another part of the bill would limit early voting, which benefits Democratic candidates in Wisconsin, to two weeks before an election.

Wisconsin State Senate majority leader Scott L. Fitzgerald, one of the architects of this legislation, told the New York Times earlier this week that he believes voters will support the maneuver. “There’s a reason that the legislature is Republican in both houses, and I think people are going to be comfortable with this divided government once they see how liberal Tony Evers is,” Fitzgerald said.

On Sunday, Evers said he would continue to fight the bills.

“I need to stand up for the people of Wisconsin,” Evers said.

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