Wisconsin Republicans’ Last Minute Power Grab

Out-going Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

As a last f*ck you to the Democrats who won the governorship and other key statewide offices in the recent November elections, outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker and GOP lawmakers are passing last-minute changes to limit the powers of the new governor and other incoming Democrats.

From the Huffington Post:

Wisconsin’s lame-duck, Republican-controlled state Legislature passed on Wednesday a host of measures designed to kneecap Gov.-elect Tony Evers, other Democrats elected to statewide offices and hurt the Democratic Party in general, sending the legislation to the GOP governor Evers defeated ― Scott Walker ― for his signature.

One part of the package would prohibit municipalities from allowing more than two weeks of early voting. That presumably would cut down on voter turnout, which generally helps Republicans.

Other provisions would give the Legislature full control of a state economic development agency, block the governor’s ability to write regulations and allow the Legislature to hire its own lawyers to file lawsuits on behalf of the state.

Republicans still control the state Senate and Assembly, due to the gerrymandered nature of the legislative districts.

It’s worth noting that the GOP retained a supermajority in the Assembly even though they received a minority of the overall votes cast in those races.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Issues New Congressional District Map

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ABC News reports that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued a new congressional district map for the state’s 2018 elections.

The new map was approved in a 4-3 decision from the high court and rids the state of bizarrely contorted districts, including one labeled “Goofy Kicking Donald Duck.”

Dave Wasserman, the U.S. House editor for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report & a contributor to NBC News and FiveThirtyEight, broke down the new map thusly on Twitter:

Breaking: PA Supreme Court adopts new congressional map, and with few exceptions, it’s Democrats’ dream come true. GOP not going to like this at all.

Biggest changes to GOP seats: open Meehan seat becomes safe Dem, Costello/Rothfus seats get much more Dem, open Dent seat becomes a Clinton district, open 10th CD becomes a Dem opportunity.

Also, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R) seat in Bucks barely becomes a Clinton district. Overall, Dems have a good chance in up to 11 CDs & an outside chance at a 12th seat in Erie.

Last month, the Keystone state’s high court ruled the congressional district map put in place in 2011 by Republicans was a partisan gerrymander that “clearly, plainly and palpably” violated the state’s Constitution.