One day after a judge dealt Republicans a setback by ordering special elections, Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow GOP leaders in the Legislature said they will pass legislation to block those elections. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said they would take up legislation to change special election rules after a Dane County judge ruled that Walker must call special elections to fill two legislative seats that have been vacant almost three months. Walker quickly committed to signing the bill, which has not yet been released. “It would be senseless to waste taxpayer money on special elections just weeks before voters go to the polls when the Legislature has concluded its business. This is why I support, and will sign, the Senate and Assembly plan to clarify special election law,” Walker said in a statement.
Democrats leapt to object, saying that Republicans were seeking to block a vote at a time when the GOP is underperforming in special elections. In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) said Republican lawmakers are “clearly intimidated by the thought of losing power.”
“Rather than depriving thousands of Wisconsin families of their constitutional right to representation, Senator Fitzgerald and Speaker (Robin) Vos need to get it together and focus on the problems they were sent here to fix,” Shilling said.