Georgia Wisconsin Republicans not even pretend to care about voters

Georgia and Wisconsin Republicans no longer even pretend to care about voters

Lockdown protestors holding signs

Flickr/michael_swan

In this golden age of Trumpian corruption, it’s starting to seem that a lot of states no longer care about what America’s soldiers fought and died for.

Today, there are no worse students of justice than Wisconsin and Georgia. The only question: which state has more blatantly discarded democracy and voter’s rights? We’ll let you decide.

First up, Georgia!

Brian Kemp’s litany of illegitimacy

Brian Kemp at a podium giving a speech

Screenshot / NBC News

If you recall, Republican Governor Brian Kemp kicked nearly 700,000 people — most of whom were minorities — off the voting rolls while he was Georgia’s Secretary of State. Democracy-shunner Kemp also helped shut down over 200 polling places across the state — mostly in poor and minority neighborhoods. Yes, he had oversight of the election that he was in! His maneuverings led to Kemp squeaking past Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams.  She “lost” by just 55,000 votes.

“For an estimated 107,000 of those people, their removal from the voter rolls was triggered not because they moved or died or went to prison, but rather because they had decided not to vote in prior elections.” — American Public Media

Turning Election Day into just another Tuesday

A close up photo of a gavel

Unsplash / Bill Oxford

On a Tuesday in late May, nail salons, and gyms were all open in Georgia… but polls were closed!

May 19th was supposed to be Election Day to fill a seat on the state Supreme Court. Instead, Governor Kemp and his buddies decided to cancel the election. Guess what happens now? Yep! Kemp will appoint the successor to retiring Justice Keith Blackwell instead of letting the voters decide.

How? Why?

Sign that says Voting cancelled

Flickr / Democracy Chronicles

In late February, a few days before the filing deadline for candidates to run to replace Justice Blackwell, Blackwell sent a letter to Kemp that said he intended to resign his seat effective November 18th. Blackwell’s term would have expired on December 31st, so he was basically retiring six weeks early. No big deal, right? Well, with a Governor with integrity in office, it wouldn’t have been. But Georgia has Kemp.

Kemp accepted Blackwell’s resignation then informed Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that he intended to fill Blackwell’s seat by a gubernatorial appointment. Raffensperger then canceled the election.

What it means:

Kemp’s appointee — who will be another Republican — will not only serve the six weeks between November 18th and December 31st, but IN ADDITION, will serve another two years!

Had Blackwell said he would be retiring on December 30th, Kemp could have pulled the same set of shenanigans and named Blackwell’s replacement, ostensibly turning one day into two years and a day. Even more nefarious, Kemp could hypothetically appoint Blackwell to fill the vacancy created by… Blackwell! And thus, a six-year term is magically transformed into eight.

Those darn numbers are so slippery!

Side by side photo of a speaker and a data chart

Screenshot

Governor Kemp is also trying to reduce corona deaths. Well, not actually REDUCE them. Just reduce the appearance of them by moving the numbers around like refrigerator magnets.

It turns out that — if you re-arrange the days of the week or the month — you can make the data suit your needs. Create a world where May 2nd comes before April 26th, and you, too, can make it appear that new coronavirus cases have dropped every day for two consecutive weeks!

Unfortunately, cutting and pasting data to fit your narrative has no bearing on reality.

The Governor’s office issued an apology and said they’d never make this kind of mistake again. Next time they’ll make a different kind of mistake.

“I have a hard time understanding how this happens without it being deliberate. Literally nowhere ever in any type of statistics would that be acceptable.” — State Rep. Jasmine Clark, D-Lilburn

Those darn colors are so unpredictable!

Close up photo fo several crayons

Canva

The peach state isn’t satisfied with just moving numbers around — they’re also changing colors. Yes, in another instance of downplaying a pandemic, the Georgia Department of Public Health has arbitrarily decided to raise the numbers on how high an infection rate needs to be before a county on the map is colored red. The predictable result: fewer red counties and pandemic solved!

“Based on the (key) they were using a couple weeks ago, a good third to a half of our state would show up as red right now. Because they keep moving the goalposts, if you will, it doesn’t look that way.” – Dr. Harry Heiman

Wisconsin

Gov Scott Walker with his hands in the air

Flickr / Gage Skidmore

Back in 2018, Republican Scott Walker lost the Governorship to Democrat Tony Evers. It seemed like a happy day for Evers, right? Wrong. On his way out the door, Walker signed legislation to cut the powers of the Governor — who, just so happened, wasn’t him anymore.

Walker’s sinister signing also hampers early voting, allows legislators to intervene in some lawsuits, and limits the power of Josh Kaul, the incoming attorney general. Spoiler alert: Kaul isn’t a Republican.

Purging and the pandemic

People standing in line to vote wearing face masks

Screenshot / YouTube

Thanks to a pandemic that makes no distinction between parties, Governor Evers proposed legislation that would automatically mail a ballot to every registered voter in the state. You can guess what happened next. The Republican-controlled legislature ignored the proposal.

But Governor Evers wasn’t giving up. On the eve of the April 7th election, he attempted to reschedule it, but the Republican-controlled state Supreme Court overruled him. Oh, then the powers-that-be (normally that would include the Governor, too — but thanks to Scott Walker it no longer does) closed 175 out of 180 polling stations in Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee. The move left just five polling stations to accommodate a population of over 500,000. How’s this for a coincidence? There are lots of black people and minorities in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, at least 71 voters and poll workers tested positive for coronavirus thanks to not postponing the primary. Thanks, Republicans! I guess you’re not pro-life after all.

Oh, karma got to vote that day because the GOP suffered a crushing defeat.

Reopened the state without Governor’s approval

People toasting at a party

Canva

You’d think that the Wisconsin Republicans would have learned a lesson after the dismal defeat they took in the April election combined with all the citizens that they unnecessarily exposed to the virus. But then you’d be wrong.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court then ruled, 4-3, that Governor Evers had no authority to shut down anything in the state, despite the worst pandemic in a century. So the dairy staters were free to go out and spread the virus as they wished. And so off they went into crowded bars without masks or social-distancing.

Again, this is not what the majority wanted. The day before the court decided to make the state a free-for-all, a Marquette University poll said 69% thought it was appropriate to close schools and businesses and restrict public gatherings. Just 26% thought the closures and social distancing were overreactions.

Ignore 70% of the people, ignore the bi-partisan virus, ignore the masks! Minority rules!

Bonus proof of bypassing democracy!

Here’s Chapter 252 of Wisconsin Statutes on the powers of the Governor’s Department of Health Services to control communicable diseases: “(2) The department may close schools and forbid public gatherings in schools, churches and other places to control outbreaks and epidemics.” “(6) The department may authorize and implement all emergency measures necessary to control communicable diseases.”

You May Also Like:

*****
Back To Front Page