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Don Moynihan @donmoyn
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"this is not a two-way conversation" says JFC chair John Nygren as he kicks someone out of the room while lecturing them saying that nothing they are doing is undemocratic
.@ChrisTaylorWI points out that very few Extraordinary Sessions in the history of Wisconsin - about a half-dozen since 1928 - and none that were designed to reduce the power of the incoming Governor and Attorney General.
We are in new territory.
Nygren interrupts and threatens to cut off female Dem legislator for not asking a question. Male GOP representative literally says "I'm going to answer my own question" and does so without interruption.
Nygren is now asking if the legislature passed provisions like voter ID, and is acting like this is an incredible gotcha question.
Nygren to protestor: Sir, you need to leave
Protestor, stands up, points finger at Nygren: No sir *you* need to leave.

OK, the protestor did not really do that but it would have been a baller move.
Dem leaders repeatedly noting that Speaker Vos or Majority Leader FitzGerald will not turn up to a hearing to defend a bill they drafted, and which would personally grant them substantial new powers.
Important point by Leah Taylor: the bill would essentially give Attorney General powers not to the legislature as a whole, but to legislative leaders. Further, they would be represented by private lawyers. On the whole a loss of accountability to the public.
Taylor goes through some cases - Obamacare, voter ID, gerrymandering, environmental regulation - where a committee (the JCLO) run by Speaker Vos and Majority Leader FitzGerald's could replace the Attorney General. Enormous concentration of power to legislative leaders.
The Legislative Reference Bureau confirms that Speaker Vos did not request them to start drafting the #WIpowergrab bill until after they lost the election. Rep Shankland asks why the GOP was not interested in this legislation before the election, concludes they are "sore losers"
I'm live tweeting the hearings on the #WIpowergrab & now the @nytimes is elbowing in on my gig!
Chris Taylor points out that healthcare providers do not seem to have been consulted - which is, something thats generally a good idea to do when drafting legislation - and are raising concerns about the content of the bill.
Up to now its been legislators asking questions of legislative agencies. Pretty procedural and factual stuff. Now members of the general public can make 2 min statements. Its gonna kick off.
"Where are the people who are the public face of these bills?...It seems to be that the separation of powers is gone...Does Scott Walker have an ethical obligation not to sign these bills since he lost the election?" #WIpowergrab
Martha Pincus: "On Nov 6th the Wisconsin voters voted for change, but not for this...Dems got more votes but got less seats." #WIpowergrab
"The State Assembly is only Republican because of the obscene level of ran on a platform for these changes and they have no mandate for them" #WIpowergrab
Its striking how a) all speakers thus far are against the #WIpowergrab, and b) almost all invoke gerrymandering. They are making sophisticated points about the legitimacy of the current changes given the structural game-rigging that has gone on.
Lawyer: "The bill should be called the poor lawyers relief bill. I don't need the extra work so I oppose this bill."
Quotes Lincoln: "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him not abuse your authority."
Rabbi quotes Bush: "America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle...It is not kinder or gentler to restrict access to healthcare"
Differences between candidates were clear. "Listen to our votes"
Legalize pot guy is now up. Asks Leah Vukimir why she wouldn't answer his letters.
From the League of Women Voters: "Good legislation does not emerge from such a rushed and sloppy process"
"we support a healthy system of checks and balances...these bills upset the current balance of powers" in a way that is contrary to voter intent #WIpowergrab
Doctor and legislative candidate: "bills will tie executive branch agencies into bureaucratic knots" by requiring them to go through the legislature for minor changes.
Also invokes George H.W. Bush in calling for bipartisanship.
Tammy Wood invokes the tweet below. Says its partly right, since Robin Vos clearly does not understand the constitution. Gets a laugh.
"We do not consent to you kneecapping our Governor" Mic gets turned offer after she goes over time. People applaud.
Nygren tells people they can't clap: "show some respect and it will be shown back to you." Big laugh.
Former legislative staffer invokes McCain voting against the ACA and George H.W. Bush's note to Bill Clinton when calling for Wi GOP Senators to step back from their efforts to undercut the new Governor. #WIpowergrab
Wisconsin voter looks to her Senator, says he promised to work in a bipartisan manner in an election debate. Asks if supporting the removal of powers from Governor Evers is working in a bipartisan manner.
Richard Tuma notes he worked with WI Senators on both sides to help emergency response. "Compromise did not used to be a dirty word." Notes that Senators seems to have made up their mind. He sounds genuinely resigned and hurt.
"You may not always like the outcomes of an election...but it is your duty to listen and respect voters" Analiese Eicher of @onewisconsinnow
Jennifer Giegerich of the League of Conservation Voters reduces input from scientific experts in an unprecedented way.
Speaking to the Republicans "Here is something you don't seem to understand. You lost, you lost, you lost...You say you don't trust Gov Evers. But the truth is you don't trust us, the voters."
Notes that the bills released late on Friday afternoon were 287 pages long. Had to learn about them from the media. Bills were withheld from the public.
"I will add you yo my Christmas list. I will send each of you a new conscience. The ones you had are not working"
Many members of the public testifying in WI have evoked George H.W. Bush. One, Gerald Morin, invokes Bush's letter to Clinton as exemplary of the the bipartisan transition of power that the WI GOP Republicans are rejecting as they strip the new Governor of powers
Brendan Carpenter, independent voter: "Why was this legislation not proposed any time in the last 8 years?"
Finally found someone to support the bills! Says he's constitutional rights were amended because early voting was allowed in Milwaukee before in his district. Urges cutting early voting even further rather than extending it in his district.
Scott McDonnell, county clerk: has an letter from 64 of 72 county clerks opposing a seperate election to help the conservative Supreme Court candidate in 2019. "There is simply not enough time...its unwise from a security and procedural perspective"
AFL-CIO: We got the bills Friday evening, and notice of the hearing that night. Are you really going to vote on these tomorrow?
"This legislature has gleefully pushed the envelope" when it comes to public notice and transparency. #WIPowerGrab
Milwaukee County Clerk, George Christensen: "We can't afford to spend about 700K on another election...I just don't see it happening."
"It" is adding an unnecessary election to help favor the GOP's favored candidate. "Its going to make our voters angry"
Rock County Clerk Lisa Tollefson: "our systems are designed for one election at the time." Having three elections in three months is just logistically impossible and will give rise to error and voter confusion.
If I had to bet, think the clerk opposition will matter for this.
I'm running out of puff here (posting in England where it is past midnight). Is anyone else live-tweeting these hearings?
Woman who drive down from Northern WI: "Putting more bureaucracy into healthcare will mean my kids will have less than what I have today...If your child is suffering, they tell you to remortgage your house to cover the costs."
"I did not vote for Speaker Vos for Attorney General.
I did not vote for Leader FitzGerald for the Attorney General.
I voted for Josh Kaul."
What is great is that even with a two-minute time limit people are making solid points about policy and politics.
What is sad is that no politician is actually responding to what they say. In some ways, this seems to sum things up.
"Since when is it the legislatures job to neuter our recently elected officials and privatize our state government by bringing in as many as 7 private legal teams into our state capitol?" (S/O to the woman with the "Seriously?" t-shirt).
Man who left a leaky roof to testify. Struck by how many of the answers to the questions about the effects of the bills are "I don't know." Shouldn't you know the answer to these questions?
"This whole things smell bad." #WIpowergrab
Student speaker, Matthew Mitnick: "When I voted I felt that my voice was heard...Seeing what is happening, it makes me feel that my voice does not matter."
NAACP opposes all of the bills in the #WIpowergrab.
"We believed that if we got out the vote we could defeat...hate. The legislation today has a degree of extremism and hatred. We have to stand against that."
"When I voted, I voted understanding that if my candidates won they would govern with the powers that they currently have. The bill in front of us changes that vote...Why are you trying to make the votes of your constituents not count? It shakes my faith in the system."
Small business owner & life-long Wisconsinite: "The heavy handedness of our current state government is a significant detractor (in hiring out of state employees). Its embarrassing. It has to stop. You have an opportunity to reach across the aisle."
17 year old. Could not vote, but campaigned. #WIPowergrab makes it feel like her efforts were ignored.
"Face it. None of us would be here if Scott Walker had won re-election. We would be Christmas shopping. This is Wisconsin, once the home of clean government. People voted for change in November, but not these changes."
"Madison has more early voting days than other parts of Wisconsin. It also has more road and restaurants. Its called a population." Gets a big laugh. Leah Vukimir reminds people not to make any noise.
"WI GOP have no fear of voters. They really don't care....Voters have lost powers to donors. You keep restricting the right to vote while opening floodgates to donors."
Vukimir has him removed when he goes on.
Yells: "I follow rules, you don't follow the rules of democracy!"
WI Eagle Scout & church volunteer: "This is not my job. My heart is racing. In a functioning democracy I would not be here...When the will of the people is ignored, people get angry."
Concludes from the Prophet Isiah: "Woe to those who make unjust laws"
Many people drove from far away. All waited several hours to testify. The overarching characteristic is respect for the process. They are earnest, and want their voices to count. A few are angry, but more are hopeful for a better government.
McCain and Bush (many times) have been invoked. This speaker quotes Eisenhower: "The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity...what sort of integrity are you showing to your kids?...I pray you will be people of integrity"
"How many of your constituents asked for this? Who are you representing? Please show you have principles and integrity."
"I love this state...You have made Wisconsin a laughingstock. This beautiful state." Points to the certain legal challenges that will emerge from the emergency session and millions that will be spent.
Its 1am here and I am off to bed. You can follow along here.
Advocate for disabled groups explains how rushed legislation without expertise or input, or even input from relevant committees, will give rise to unanticipated consequences and worse health outcomes.
Of dozens and dozens of citizens who spoke eloquently about the bill, only one supported it. Maybe some people support whats going on, but no-one has shown that. Deep and well-reasoned opposition. Inspiring to see. In a functioning democracy it would matter.
Citizen calls out legislators for chatting among themselves while people testify. "I am your employer. You have forgotten that...We the people spoke on Nov 6th. We are still speaking."
Someone yells "listen to her." Leah Vukimir has him removed.
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