Friday, March 30, 2018

Citizens and Democracy Win One as Walker and Fitzgerald Back Off Blocking Special Elections

For Release: Friday - March 30, 2018

Congratulations to all you Wisconsin citizens who treasure more democracy, not less – and who value the rule of law and of an independent judiciary, not defiance of them.

On Thursday morning, Governor Scott Walker and State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) realized they lacked almost any support from Wisconsin citizens, faltering support from their own party's state legislators, and adamant opposition from independent and impartial judges, to defy long-standing Wisconsin law stipulating that special elections needed to be called as soon as possible following the resignation of two Republican legislators last December to take high-paying political patronage jobs in the Walker Administration.

Fearing the loss of one or both of these seats in a special election, Walker and Fitzgerald teamed up to try to deny elected representation to the citizens of the 1st State Senate District and the 42nd Assembly District for more than a year. Their "rationale" for doing so was not credible or believable. And you, the citizens of this state, were not having any of it.

After the Dane County Circuit Court and State Court of Appeals rejected his case to postpone the elections to fill these two vacancies until November – in the strongest possible terms – Walker wisely threw in the towel and did what the court ordered him to do: call for a special election in the two vacated legislative districts for June 12th, following May primaries.

And Fitzgerald, who scheduled an "Extraordinary Session" of the Legislature for this coming Wednesday, April 4th, for the sole purpose of ramming through a hyper-partisan rewrite of the special election law, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars to underwrite legislative action that would continue to deny elected representation to about 228,000 Wisconsin citizens, cancelled the session when Republican State Senators, hearing from hundreds of their constituents opposing the measure, began to waver in their support for it.

Thank you for making your voices heard. They heard you and fear your increasing power and strength. Celebrate this victory this weekend and cap off this win for democracy and the rule of law by exercising your most powerful and precious instrument to weigh in on the direction our democracy takes – your vote, this Tuesday, April 3rd in a very important election to fill a vacancy on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and on other matters.

To read CC/WI Director Jay Heck's testimony in opposition to the measure changing the long-standing special elections law before the State Senate Elections Committee on Wednesday, go here. It was also reprinted in The Capital Times and in Urban Milwaukee. To view the public hearing on this measure form Wednesday, you can go to Wisconsin Eye. (Jay Heck's oral testimony begins at 02:18:57).

Remember, your voice and your vote both make a big difference. Never give up. On Wisconsin!

And Happy Easter and Spring.


Jay Heck
608/256-2686 (office)
608/512-9363 (cell)

Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703

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