Alderman likes what he hears fromGovernor-elect Tony Evers during his address to Common Council
Milwaukee Alderman Cavalier (Chevy) Johnson said it was refreshing to hear Governor-elect Tony Evers express a desire to be a partner, not an enemy, of the city of Milwaukee.
Johnson made his remarks recently after hearing Evers address the full council at city hall during an address to that governing body.
Evers reportedly told the council that in order to have a strong Wisconsin, there needs to be a strong Milwaukee. The governor-elect signaled support for finding new ways for the Milwaukee region to fund many of its pressing needs.
“We have to find flexibility for the citizens and decision makers in the Milwaukee area to have revenue streams that meet their needs,” Evers reportedly said. Among the ideas Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and city officials have floated the last several years has been a sales tax (to fund public safety efforts), which requires state approval; or a regional sales tax which would help fund cultural or transportation needs.
Evers’ visit to city hall to speak to the common council was his first, which is one more than the total visits by out-going governor Scott Walker, which is zero. That fact is emblematic of the strained relationship between the city and state ever since Walker and Republican legislators took control of both branches of state government.
Recent state budgets slashed already frozen state shared revenue payments to the city, leaving the city with a reported $105 million annual shortfall versus 2003 shared revenue payments.
Johnson was alarmed to hear Evers note the 160 bills limiting local control passed in the last eight years during Walker’s and GOP lawmakers’ control of the statehouse. It’s especially troubling, the alderman said, when a number of those bills—and what’s been slipped into the state budget process—greatly impacted. if not directly targeted, Milwaukee.
Johnson said he was happy to learn Evers will seek to focus on issues important to Milwaukee like early childhood education, improving healthcare accessibility, laying the groundwork for additional multimodal transit, and reform in the Department of Corrections.
“I was also excited to hear that the governor-elect understands that as a big city, Milwaukee’s needs are unique and that this city should have flexibility as it relates to raising revenue that does not rely so heavily on property taxpayers.”
But before initiatives can be enacted to make fiscal life easier for Milwaukee and ease the tension between it and the state legislature, Evers must first contend with state Republican efforts to curtail his gubernatorial powers. The outgoing governor is expected to sign legislation passed last week in a lame-duck legislative session that limits Evers power and the power of State Attorney- General-elect Josh Kaul in several major segments of state government.
Evers said last week the sweeping changes are an effort to not only expand the power of the GOP-controlled assembly and senate, but is a repudiation of the will of the people of Wisconsin who voted for change on November 6.—Article compiled by MCJ Editorial Staff
State GOP lawmakers use lame-duck legislative session to weaken incoming Democrats Evers and Kaul
compiled by MCJ Editorial Staff
“Sore losers” is how one Wisconsin Democratic state legislator reportedly described Republican lawmakers who pushed through legislation Wednesday severely limiting the power of Democratic Governor-elect Tony Evers and fellow Democrat, Attorney General- elect Josh Kaul. The legislation was passed after an all-night debate during a lame-duck legislative session purposely aimed at reducing the authority of the governor’s office once outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker leaves in January.
Walker has reportedly signaled his support for the legislative package, and has 10 days to sign it once it’s delivered to his desk. In a press statement after the passage of the GOP measures, Evers noted Wisconsin had never seen anything like what occurred in the early morning hours Wednesday when the legislative package was passed.
“Power-hungry politicians rushed through sweeping changes to our laws to expand their own power and override the will of the people of Wisconsin who asked for change on November 6th,” read Evers’ statement.
Also responding to the state GOP’s actions, U.S. Cong. Gwen Moore, a former state assembly person and senator, called what the Republicans did a “power grab,” and “a direct threat to our state’s democracy.”
Moore said Instead of a peaceful transition of power, state Republican legislators have “disgraced the state in a midnight legislative session more befitting of a strong man dictatorship than the United States of America.”
“As Wisconsinites, we must stand strong in the face of greed and intolerance to overcome this period of darkness and begin our return to Wisconsin’s progressive roots.”
Despite Republican concerns the governor’s office had too much authority, political pundits and observers see the GOP moves as protecting key Republican achievements from being undone by Evers:
• The massive $3 billion subsidy Walker spearheaded to bring Foxconn to Wisconsin along with thousands of jobs. Evers reportedly said he may renegotiate the deal.
• Shield the controversial state jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) from his control and allow the board to choose its leader until September of 2019. Even if that maneuver doesn’t work, it will at least delay Evers’ ability to maneuver on the Foxconn subsidy.
• Weaken Evers’ ability to put in place rules that enact laws; and would limit early voting to no more than two weeks before an election, a restriction similar to what a federal judge ruled was unconstitutional. As it relates to the state attorney general’s office, the legislation would weaken Kaul’s office by requiring a legislative committee, rather than the attorney general, to sign off on withdrawing from federal lawsuits.
This would stop Evers and Kaul from fulfilling promises to withdraw Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit seeking repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The two then candidates made opposition to the lawsuit a central plank in their respective campaign platforms.
Judges could, reportedly, block such efforts by the governor and attorney general if they became law by issuing temporary injunctions, which could last the duration of the cases.
The Republican power-shift is seen by many locally and nationwide as a way for GOP lawmakers to salvage something from a November state mid-term election that saw them get clobbered, losing all the statewide races thanks to a stronger than usual Democratic mid-term turnout.
However, Republicans still retain legislative majorities due, political observers note, to alleged gerrymandered districts that tip the electoral map in their favor. The state GOP legislators’ success is most likely being watched by Republicans nation-wide in states where they have suffered significant losses in statehouses and governors’ mansions.
While Wisconsin lawmakers on both side of the aisle battled with each other, a similar struggle was taking place between Michigan lawmakers on limiting the powers of that’s state’s incoming Democratic governor.
Perhaps Wisconsin and Michigan Republicans were taking their cues from lawmakers in North Carolina who, two years ago, took similar steps to limit its governor’s powers.
The Republicans maneuverings the above-mentioned states, and others have and may take, will most certainly be challenged in the courts. Critics these actions as an undermining of the nation’s political system and the will of the people who voted for change.
Tony Evers, Mandela Barnes Win: Reactions from Millennial aged Voters
“Celebrate good times come on!” The hit song was released in 1980 by the world renowned band Kool and Gang. The song toppled charts on its way to becoming a “national anthem” for celebratory moments. Thirty-eight years later that is still the case, being played at birthdays, graduations and this case, the streets of Milwaukee as Tony Evers defeated Scott walker in the race for Governor.
At Approximately 1:30am November 7th, Tony Evers and Mandela Barnes declared victory over Scott Walker. 40,000 absentee ballots gave them the final push, prior to the receipts of the mailed in ballots they were deadlocked. “Was that close enough for you?” Exclaimed Evers as he spoke to supporters.
Walker made headlines throughout his two terms for cutting millions in school funding as well as a sub par presidential bid. Dropping out of college his senior year, Walker was still able to enjoy lucrative jobs; perhaps the reason school funding became expendable to him. Millennial aged votes came out in high fashion to be a part of the removal, and had strong words coupled with hilarious memes to express their excitement.
“Thought he’d never get out”
“I feel like Obama is back in office”
“Maybe now we can undo some of his damage”
These were words from voters between the ages of 25 and 34, who I had the pleasure of speaking with.
Circulating though out the internet from millennial aged voters were two memes that stood out. One with the words; “Milwaukee is not handicapped, we do not need walker” as well as a picture of a Quest Card with Walkers name on it. History was made as Mandela Barnes became the first African American Lieutenant Governor in Wisconsin. Barnes served the community for years as community organizer and State Representative. A “Kool” headed and educated man like Evers, they look to dive in when they assume the seats in January. Let the celebration continue.
The Scott Walker era is over!
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers is now governor-elect of the state of Wisconsin, defeating incumbent Gov. Scott Walker Tuesday by 30,849 votes (1,324,648 to 1,293,799).
Evers’ victory means former state legislator Mandela Barnes, who campaigned with Evers across the state, is the first African American lieutenant governor in state history.
Both Evers and Barnes were listed together on the bal-lot, as was Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.
In another electoral surprise, federal prosecutor Josh Kaul narrowly beat incumbent Atty. Gen. Brad Schimel for the state’s top cop position. Kaul garnered 1,310, 300 total votes (50%) to Schimel’s 1,287,627 votes (49%).
Milwaukee again played a prominent role in Tuesday’s general election and the wins of Evers, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Cong. Gwen Moore, and three other state-wide races.
All of the candidates endorsed by the Community Journal last week won.
Of the 1,324,648 votes Evers received statewide, 167,560 (78%) came from the city. Walker received only 42,332 votes (19.75%). Baldwin received 175,617 city votes (81%) to State Senator Leah Vukmir’s 38,406 (17.91%).
Moore garnered 168,971 Milwaukee votes (79%) to her closest competitor for the Fourth Congressional Dis-trict seat, Tim Rogers, who received 38,471 votes (18%). Kaul also won the city, receiving 163,974 votes to Schimel’s 42,987.
The state’s largest city was also was at the center of a controversy over 47,000 absentee ballots weren’t counted until early Wednesday. Absentee ballots can’t be counted until the polls opened Tuesday, election day.
Here are the city’s absentee ballot totals:
- Scott Walker: 7,188
- Tony Evers: 38,674
- Leah Vukmir: 6:345
- Brad Schimel: 7,530
- Josh Kaul: 37,882
Baldwin was one of several U.S. senators in key national election contests to retain her seat, defeating Vukmir. The incumbent senator won by 288,843 votes (1,471,904 total to 1,183,061).
Doug LaFollette retained his posi-tion as Secretary of State (1,380,202 votes-53%), defeating Jay Schroeder (1,233,404-47%). Sarah Godlewski will be the new state treasurer, de-feating Travis Hartwig. She collected 1,323,586 votes (51%). Hartwig re-ceived 1,215,553 (47%).
Aside from the four major candi-dates the Community Journal en-dorsed last week (Evers, Barnes, Moore and Baldwin), the other 16 candidates the newspaper endorsed won:
District 8-JoCasta Zamarrippa
District 9-Marisabel Cabrera
District 10-David Bowen
District 11-Jason Fields
District 12-LaKeshia Myers
District 16-Kalan Haywood
District 17-David Crowley
District 18-Evan Goyke
District 19-Jonathan Brostoff
District 20-Christine Sinicki
State Senate Tim Carpenter
With the exception of Zamarrippa (who was challenged by Angel Sanchez), the majority of the afore-mentioned state legislative candi-dates (all incumbents except Haywood and Myers) won uncon-tested races.
In city and county elections, for-mer county board supervisor and state lawmaker Nikiya Dodd won her race for Alderperson of the fifth al-dermanic district, defeating Matthew Elder. Dodd received 9,785 votes (68%); Elder got 4,625 votes (32%).
Earnell Lucas, a former Milwau-kee Police captain and head of secu-rity for Major League Baseball, won his uncontested race for Milwaukee County Sheriff, replacing the contro-versial former Sheriff David Clarke.
Marijuana was on the Tuesday bal-lot…and it won…six times A major-ity of voters in six state counties, including Milwaukee County said yes to legalizing adult use of mari-juana.
Seventy percent of Milwaukee County voters favored the measure with 30% of voters rejecting the change in state law. The other coun-ties that approved advisory referen-dums to change the law on Pot were Dane, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Racine and Rock.
A total 2,671,347 state votes were cast.