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THREAD: I’m here in the Wisconsin state Capitol, where Scott Walker and the GOP legislature plan to slap voters in the face today by stripping authority from the newly elected Dem gov & AG and slashing early voting. First, though, Walker plans to light the Christmas tree.
Yep: Scott Walker plans to light this tree as outraged constituents hold “RESPECT the VOTE” signs in the Capitol rotunda.
This would be such a merrier Christmas if the Wisconsin GOP weren’t trying to overturn the results of the election through a sneak-attack special session of the outrageously gerrymandered legislature.
After the pledge of allegiance, “...with liberty and justice for all,” a guy standing near me says “Today?!”
Scott Walker comes out. Capitol erupts in boos. This video just catches the tail end of them.
As @jessieopie reminds: folks are NOT protesting the Christmas tree. Just in case someone tries to take the boos out of context.
There are competing carols happening in the Capitol right now. This is how divided Walker has left the state.
“NO LAME DUCK!” thunder the protesters. “RESPECT OUR VOTE!
Solidarity Singers have rewritten Christmas carols with anti-Walker, pro-democracy lyrics. They’ve been a presence here since the 2011 battles. They can really sing!
Updates from Wisconsin: - Rumors suggest GOP Senators might not have the votes for some of their power grab - Already hours delayed, they're now planning votes on last-minute nominations first - Final passage likely late at night, to avoid scrutiny FOLKS: COME TO THE CAPITOL
Robin Vos, the intensely ambitious R Assembly leader, speaking now at packed press conference. Comes out swinging: this special session is "extremely important" to protect the measures Rs passed in Wisconsin over last 8 years. Cites voter ID and Medicaid work requirements.
GOP leader Robin Vos: "We know Tony Evers will be the governor on January 7. But he is not the governor today. We are going to make sure the powers of each branch are as equal as they can be." That's what passes for their justification for the power grab.
Wisconsin GOP lawmakers says they'll start debate at 4 and hold the final votes by midnight tonight. They want to finish their power grab out of the glare of any TV news. 🚨 Wisconsinites: If you can, COME TO THE CAPITOL TONIGHT.
Rep Nygren, who chaired the Joint Finance Committee hearing yesterday, proudly declares that they decided yesterday to "more than double" allowable early voting because they decided that, instead of certain hours for two weeks, they'd permit 24/7 for two weeks. Scornful laughter.
Absolutely jam-packed press conference by the Republicans here. So far, no indication that they’ve budged an inch on their power-grab plans.
"In general, I think the vast majority of what's in the bills is going to stay," says Assembly Leader Robin Vos.
Journalist asks "Have you actually heard from any constituents asking for the lame-duck session?" Robin Vos says his constituents have been telling him "Don't back down. Make sure welfare recipients have to work. Keep our tax burden reasonable. Make sure the laws stay."
Robin Vos was elected with 16,775 votes. Tony Evers was elected with 1,323,545. But Vos thinks that his constituents should get to overrule the people of Wisconsin.
Vos is asked if this is just a partisan power grab. He responds that Rs were talking to Walker earlier this year about some of these ideas. Uh huh. What a coincidence that the push to handcuff the executive branch happens only once Ds control it. With that, press conference ends.
Wisconsin has such a gorgeous Capitol. Here’s the beautiful State Assembly chamber. It’s a symbol of a state once proud of its clean and responsive government. And what will happen here tonight will desecrate it.
This fight is personal to me not only because I grew up in Wisconsin, but because I'm moving back to Wisconsin in less than three weeks.
Precisely because I'm moving back to Wisconsin 18 days from now, I have to go back to DC tonight—there's a lot of packing to do. So, I'm about to board a plane. Will track developments in WI remotely, with gratitude to all burning the midnight oil to keep fighting this fight.
They're likely to pass something tonight. Dems shouldn't let this stop here. Along with court fights, I hope folks hold town halls in R Senate districts to expose what's in the bill. I think most of those voting for it don't remotely understand the full implications.
It's vital to understand the Wisconsin power grab as a death rattle before the GOP loses the governorship—because even once it's complete, Scott Walker will be out, and Tony Evers will be sworn in, and things will change. Not as much as we want, but a ton. The victory is real.
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