"Republicans who control Michigan's Legislature voted Wednesday to advance a measure that strips campaign-finance oversight power from the Democratic secretary of state-elect, and they moved to give lawmakers authority to stand up for GOP-backed laws if they think the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general are not adequately defending the state's interests", writes the AP. After Republicans there took control of the Assembly, Senate and governorship in 2011, Democratic legislators hid out in IL to try to prevent Republicans from taking action on Walker's plan to cut union benefits as a way to fix the state budget.
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The Republican efforts, which echoed actions taken by politicians in North Carolina in 2016, threatened to further deepen political rancor in the key Midwestern battleground states.
Walker has said he supports the bills His office worked with Republican lawmakers to craft the legislation. Walker has already signaled general support for the legislation. But Democrats and proponents of the redistricting law say the incoming Democratic secretary of state is perfectly capable of implementing it without intrusion from the GOP-controlled Legislature. The measures would shift power to the Republican-controlled Legislature and weaken the authority of the governor and the attorney general.
The Republican-led Michigan Senate is expected to pass a bill that would strip the incoming Democratic secretary of state of her power to oversee campaign finance.
Wisconsin Republicans have not offered any defense of the attorney general provisions, except to say they need to curtail Evers' power to eliminate GOP laws.
The bill approved Wednesday is opposed by Democrats who call it another power grab in the lame-duck session before Democrats begin leading top state offices in January.
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Meanwhile, in MI and Missouri, efforts by Republican legislators are trying to undo citizen-pass amendments that had imposed limits on how self-serving their state legislatures could be. Republican leaders there are also trying to gut popular citizen-initiated laws that mandated paid sick leave and an increase in the minimum wage from $9.25 to $12 by 2022.
Evers said he would talk to Walker as soon as the bills reach the governor's desk. The party has used that power to pass conservative policies, including creating voter ID requirements, adopting right-to-work laws and stripping public workers in Wisconsin of almost all their collective bargaining rights. The sponsor, Rep. Rob VerHeulen of Walker, said it would simply let the Legislature intervene without the court approval that it now needs, regardless of which party is in power.
Republicans say setting the limit promotes fairness across the state while Democrats believe it will hamper early voting both in person and through the mail. "It sets a frightful precedent for the next session", said Wisconsin state Rep. Chris Taylor, a Democrat who represents Madison. Last night, that legislature voted to not just limit Democrats' power, but to actually make it harder for people to even vote.
According to Brulte, the Democrats were just better organized and did a better job of getting voters out in addition to helping voters get their absentee ballots turned in by picking them up and delivering them to voter registrars. "To you, this is all about politics".
Democrats countered that the legislation is an unconstitutional overreach.
But Democrats said it shows disrespect to the institution.
The attorney general's office could also be weakened by a proposal to require a legislative committee, rather than the attorney general, to sign off on withdrawing from federal lawsuits.