Walker Lashes Out At Holder After Bid to Block Special Elections Fails

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When a Dane County Circuit Court judge who was appointed by Walker ordered the governor to call the elections, Walker rejected the verdict and had his lawyers seek a delay in the judgement so that the governor's legislative henchmen could radically rewrite the state election law so that vacancies could go unfilled. The governor was ordered last week by a judge in Madison to call the special elections by noon on Thursday.

The state Justice Department is asking the judge to extend the time for Walker to call the special elections from Thursday to April 6, giving the Legislature time to act to make the lawsuit moot.

"Representative government and the election of our representatives are never 'unnecessary, ' never a 'waste of taxpayer resources, ' and the calling of the special elections are. his 'obligation, '" Presiding Judge Paul F. Reilly wrote. Those changes include adding two months to the time between when a governor calls a special election to when the election is held, and expands the time between a primary and a general special election from four to eight weeks. The seats will again be on the ballot in November.

Both the GOP-controlled state Senate and state Assembly had begun making plans for a special session to change the law, and Walker said he would have signed it.

Fitzgerald cited the special election to replace Republican state Sen. Both are heavily Republican districts that favored President TrumpDonald John TrumpKushner has called Bolton for advice over past year: report Jeb Bush hits Trump: I go home to children "who actually love me" Sanders to visit MS for anniversary of MLK assassination MORE by 18 points and 14 points, respectively, in 2016.

Holder's group and Wisconsin Democrats have countered that the calendar would have made more sense if Walker had scheduled the races when the seats were first vacated in late December 2017, and that there was no justification for leaving two districts unrepresented for over a year.

Walker said in a Thursday radio interview that the special elections would be "meaningless" because whoever wins the June contest will serve for just a few months, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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Voters in the districts, represented by attorneys from a group affiliated with one run by former Democratic U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, sued to force Walker to call the elections.

In subsequent tweets, Walker claimed Holder's National Redistricting Foundation had only intervened to boost its profile and raise money ahead of the fall midterms. "The Legislature has indicated they are done".

Fitzgerald argued that there would be potential confusion because the special election would overlap with the start of the fall election cycle with nomination papers circulating at the same time.

Walker decided not to ask the Wisconsin Supreme Court to delay a court order to schedule those elections. Fitzgerald said he is open to a Democratic proposal that would require the governor to call an election within 60 days of a vacancy.

"There is nothing more fundamental to our democracy than the right to vote", said Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse.

"Despite Gov. Walker's best attempt to block elections and deny 200,000 voters their constitutional right to representation, justice prevailed and the courts correctly ruled that Republicans can't ignore the law", she said in a statement.

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