Editorial Boards Cry Foul on Republicans’ Power Grab in Wisconsin and Michigan

Editorials across the nation are calling for Republicans to stop their lame-duck madness and to respect the rules of democracy. In rushed last-minute sessions — sometimes at night — Republicans have pushed through legislation that only promotes their own interests instead of those whom they were elected to serve. Editorial boards agree the people of Wisconsin and Michigan deserve leaders who will work together to solve problems and create opportunities, not more of the same political games. Read for yourself:


MLive: “Michigan’s legislators need to immediately stop pushing these types of bills through a lame duck session and allow those Michigan voters are sending to office have a voice. And Gov. Rick Snyder needs to do the right thing and not sign these into law.”


Lansing State Journal: “This behavior is unacceptable. Regardless of where people stand on issues, bullying through controversial legislation in a lame duck session is not the appropriate way to legislate.”


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “We haven’t mentioned political party because this isn’t about party platforms – that’s what elections should be about. This is about keeping the citizens in charge of their government. It doesn’t matter which party is coming in and going out of office — we would say the exact same thing. In fact, we would shout it — just as we are now.”


Washington Post: “Scott Fitzgerald (R), Wisconsin’s Senate majority leader, admitted Monday that Republicans would not be trying to limit the governor’s powers if outgoing GOP Gov. Scott Walker had won a third term, explaining that Republicans do not trust the incoming Democrat. It does not matter if they trust the next governor. Wisconsin voters chose to do so.”


USA Today: “These blatant power grabs show a palpable contempt for voters. For decades, even as the political debate has grown more caustic, lawmakers of both parties have shown an admirable reverence for popular sovereignty, democratic elections and graceful transitions of power. Now, that is very much in doubt.”


Chicago Sun-Times: “We hold elections to let voters steer government in the direction they choose. To manipulate the system to go in a different direction is simply undemocratic.”


The Cap Times: “Unfortunately, [Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos,] appears to be determined to turn that tantrum into a messy power grab that seeks to thwart the will of the people. Hours after Evers was elected, Vos announced that ‘maybe we made some mistakes giving too much power to Governor Walker and I’d be open to looking at that to see if there are areas we should change.’”


The Cap Times: “But that was nothing compared to what came next. Shaken by a steady pattern of defeats at the polls this year — special election defeats, the loss of a conservative seat on the Supreme Court, the statewide wipeout — the Republicans signaled their intention to rig the game before they lose again.”


La Crosse Tribune: “That’s hardly enough time to digest the details of the Republican-run Legislature’s attempt to dilute the power of the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general, who were elected Nov. 6 and take office Jan. 7. Nor does it allow citizens time to explore the implications of restricting early voting, changing health insurance rules or altering the structure of the state’s job-creation agency.”


La Crosse Tribune: “When voters elected Evers and other Democrats for every statewide office Nov. 6, they didn’t intend for the losing side to ignore their decisions. Yet that’s what’s happening as Republicans — who relied on gerrymandering to help keep control of the Legislature — are rushing to advance troubling proposals that could have many unintended consequences.”


The Janesville Gazette: “Republican legislators seem only capable of fuming over their November defeats and seeking revenge. And it’s laughable to hear Republican claims of pure motives.”