Michigan GOP strips power from Dem officeholders

Will an 'outspent' GOP now embrace campaign finance reform

"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.

"Once the public sees it, then they'll want to pass the whole thing, not just pieces", Sarbanes said, warning there would be a "political outcome for those who stand in its way".

If Democrats are so insistent on every vote being counted, then why is it always Democrats who mysteriously discover thousands of uncounted votes when they need more votes to defeat a Republican candidate?

The bills - passed by a 56-53 margin with all Dems and several Republicans voting against them - would create a parallel commission called the Education Accountability Policy Commission that would be stacked with appointees from outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder and GOP Senate and House leadership.

Michigan's secretary of state is responsible for enforcing the campaign finance law and issuing binding declaratory rulings related to political spending. Legislators would instead get to hire their own outside lawyers to represent the state.

"On the surface it sounds like politics, not policy", said OR state Sen. "If they are changing the rules because a person is in a different party, that would be a situation where I would question the validity of it". The measures are created to weaken both incoming Democratic Gov. -elect Tony Evers and Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. "It's just insane", she said.

Republicans denied that the bill undercuts Nessel or any future attorney general, calling it a response to increasing "legislation through litigation".

Arizona Senate President Pro Tem John Kavanagh, a Republican, agreed.

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Over 350,000 Michiganders signed petitions to place the initiatives on November's ballot, an effort rendered moot when they were passed by the legislature.

The Republican-controlled Legislature approved sweeping changes early Wednesday that weaken the governor's ability to make rules that enact laws.

The measure up for a vote Thursday is among several that opponents say ignore voters after they swept Democrats into the governor, attorney general and secretary of state offices. In the 115 Congress from 2017 to 2018, Republicans made H.R. 1 their tax reform measure.

"We've already vetted these with legal experts that we believe have shown that they are clearly constitutional", Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said. "Our proposals guarantee that the legislature always has a seat at the table".

Republicans pushing to hang on to power in Wisconsin and MI aren't stopping at curbing the authority of incoming Democratic governors.

"The Legislature makes the laws, the executive branch enforces the laws and the judicial branch interprets the laws", said Rep. Robert Wittenberg of Huntington Woods. "It's anti-democratic", she tweeted. The action comes just weeks before Republican Gov. Scott Walker is replaced by Democrat Tony Evers.

Evers on the stump said he would disband the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a jobs agency that has come under intense scrutiny for its role in providing tax incentive deals to major corporations like tech manufacturing giant Foxconn.

Walker hasn't said whether he'll sign the wide-ranging bills. That proposal is viewed as most vulnerable to a successful legal challenge because a federal judge previously struck down a similar measure from Wisconsin Republicans, saying the limitations were meant to disenfranchise black Milwaukee residents who traditionally vote for Democrats.

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