The votes by a lame-duck session of the Wisconsin Legislature aimed at reducing the authority of the offices that Republicans will lose in January were drawing critical reaction, including in western Wisconsin.
The votes early Wednesday only prove how far apart the two parties have become, said Bev Robinson, 68, a retiree who lives in a cabin in Wascott, Wis.
“It ticks me off,” Robinson said. “It frightens me. It irritates me. You could never run a business the way the government is run now.”
The partisanship in the Wisconsin Legislature was only made more stark by the recent death of former President George H.W. Bush, who served as a reminder of a more centrist era, she said.
“The problem today is they can’t vote on toilet paper, the two parties,” Robinson said. “It’s so one-sided. So now a different party gets into office, so you’re going to make laws to prevent them from doing their job? I just don’t get it.”
Joann Krueger, 54, of River Falls, said it bothered her that the Legislature would vote to take any power or authority from the governor’s office without voter input.
“The duties that have been given to the governor have been given for a reason,” she said. “Unless it’s done in a way where voters make that decision, I disagree with making the changes there.”
Krueger said she was in favor of shortening the early voting period to two weeks.
“I just think it’s our right and privilege to vote,” she said. “Two weeks is plenty of time for everybody to get their ballot in. If you don’t show up you shouldn’t really complain.”
Joshua Robers, 26, of Hudson, was living in Madison in 2010 when Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers made sweeping changes to the state’s collective bargaining laws, sparking weeks of protests at the State Capitol.
“It feels like the same thing,” Robers said. “The first thing you hear is that they did this to curb (Gov.-elect Tony) Evers. It just sucks they won’t give it a chance.”