MADISON (WKOW) — It’s something that’s never been done in Wisconsin, Republicans passed legislation last week that will limit powers of the incoming governor and attorney general. Now, Governor Scott Walker must decide whether or not to sign those bills into law.
UW-Madison Political Science Professor, David Canon said depending if Walker vetoes, signs the bills, or makes changes, it will set the tone at the statehouse for the next four years.
“I think the governor is getting a lot of advice as this could tarnish his reputation, his legacy down the road if he wants to think about another presidential run or another office,” said Canon. “People will remember this.”
Depending what day Walker asks for the bills, he will have six days, not including a Sunday, to act. If he doesn’t request the bills they will be delivered to his office automatically on December 20th. The Republican has indicated he generally supports the legislation.
As other states like North Carolina and now Michigan attempt to limit powers of incoming elected officials, Canon said it’s a trend that could continue. However, he hopes other states will be discouraged from doing the same because of the potential damage to their reputation.
“I think this is a really bad tendency for parties to put their interests above the people of the state or the nation,” he said. “I would hope we don’t see this spread as a national trend.”
Former Republican Gov. Scott McCallum and some of Walker’s former advisers are encouraging him to veto the bills. McCallum called the bills “completely political” and a power grab.
“It’s not only former governors but also Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Two of which Governor Walker appointed. If WEDC is so important we shouldn’t be that partisan.”
If Walker signs the bills it likely will trigger lawsuits, but Canon said those lawsuits could backfire and put Democrats in a bad light.
“If Evers and Kaul want to be aggressive they could litigate this if they wanted, but do you really want to start off on an antagonist’s foot? It wouldn’t be great for the state of Wisconsin,” he said.