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The Republican leader of the state Senate on Thursday downplayed a suggestion a day earlier by his Assembly counterpart that GOP lawmakers might curtail executive branch power before Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers is sworn in.

Yet Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, acknowledged lawmakers may tackle a host of changes with Gov. Scott Walker in a year-end lame-duck session, including ones that could affect the governor’s authority.

That could include adding to state law existing rules on the state’s photo ID requirement to vote, and on the state jobs agency Evers proposed to eliminate, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

“I’m not sure why there’s all this discussion about (how) we’re somehow trying to undermine the new governor. That’s not the case at all,” Fitzgerald said. He was addressing Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ comments to reporters Wednesday, hours after Evers defeated Walker.

Hours earlier, Evers warned GOP lawmakers against a hard-line approach to undercut him before he takes office in January.

“There is a lot of common ground that we can find. But I will not tolerate desperate antics to cling to power and violate the checks and balances of Wisconsin’s government,” Evers said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Fitzgerald said any changes to WEDC could include ones to “adjust” its appointees. He did not elaborate and his office did not immediately respond to an inquiry about it.

The 14-member WEDC governing board includes six members nominated by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate for four-year terms.

Evers, during the campaign, proposed eliminating WEDC, created by Walker and GOP lawmakers in 2011, and moving its functions to another agency such as the Commerce Department.

Pressed on what a GOP lame-duck agenda means for lawmakers’ approach to working with Evers, Fitzgerald cited the scope of power the state Constitution gives the governor to reshape bills passed by the Legislature, which is more expansive than other states.

“Tony Evers is going to have the most powerful veto pen in the nation,” Fitzgerald said. “The idea that he’s not going to be able to keep the Legislature in check, I think, it would be naive to think that.

“We’ll respect Tony Evers like we have any other governor, and we’ll work with him.”

Fitzgerald cited opiates and law enforcement as areas on which he could find common ground with Evers.

Fitzgerald said he and Vos have not discussed working with Walker on any changes to the Department of Natural Resources board or the governor’s power to appoint University of Wisconsin System regents.

The changes Fitzgerald discussed Thursday could be considered by senators in a legislative session in December, Fitzgerald said. He said it’s still possible senators will hold a separate session later in November to consider a proposed state aid package to retain jobs in the Fox Cities at paper giant Kimberly-Clark.

Walker’s office did not immediately respond Thursday to an inquiry about whether it wants to work with Fitzgerald or Vos on changes to the powers of the governor’s office.

Meanwhile, state Senate Republicans and Democrats re-elected their respective leaders, Fitzgerald and Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, following the results of Tuesday’s general election.

Fitzgerald and Shilling, D-La Crosse, were returned to their posts without opposition.

Tuesday’s results were a downer for Senate Democrats, especially in an election in which Democrats swept all statewide offices and re-elected U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison. They had hoped to expand their 15-member caucus and potentially capture the majority in the 33-member chamber.

Instead they lost a seat, with Sen. Caleb Frostman, D-Sturgeon Bay, losing a rematch with Rep. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere, whom Frostman beat in a special election earlier this year. The partisan breakdown of the chamber is now 19 Republicans and 14 Democrats.

Shilling, during an open caucus meeting at the state Capitol, acknowledged the disappointment but said Democrats can be proud of their efforts to help elect Evers.

“For the first time in a long time, we have an ally in the East Wing,” Shilling said, referring to the wing of the Capitol that includes the governor’s office. “That changes the dynamic.”

State Senate Republicans also re-elected Sen. Roger Roth, R-Appleton, as Senate president — a post that is the chamber’s procedural referee during floor debates.

Sen. Dan Feyen, R-Fond du Lac, was elected assistant Senate majority leader. That post is being vacated by Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, who did not seek re-election and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against Baldwin.

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(31) comments


Wow, what a disingenuous comment...


Democrats are quite hypocritical complaining about this idea by the Republicans, BECAUSE, THEY want to change the WHOLE process of how our president is elected because Trump won. Do you see how stupid you are. ? I don’t think the presidential election should be changed nor do I think Evers power should be limited. Both parties in each case, stop whining and give the people a reason to vote FOR you in an election , ANY election.


The discussion of the election of the president by Democrats is about having the winner be more representative of the majority of the voters (i.e, the popular vote). Republicans are all about having a minority of people select the winners in elections through unscrupulous laws and activities. See if you can figure out the difference. I know you are dim, but give it a try.


The other two members of the Kochie brothers 3 Mouseketeers, Vos and Fitzgerald have been instructed by the Kansas kangaroo delegation to start planning to keep control by limiting any change the voters wanted.


@ Physics is spot on !!! and most assuredly the latter. The election may be the biggest, the Koch Bros. have ever lost . The massive amount of money thrown at Walker , the never ending attack ads, toward Tammy, Josh and Tony himself, were above and beyond disgusting, and that includes the relentless Rant Radio, like WTMJ, with their lies, non-stop, day in and day out.... and the Dems still won?
That must"ve absolutely BLOWN Walker"s mind ! Vuckmir"s mind , Schlimel"s mind.
The Trump rally ,1 week prior, in Mosinee ,WI., featuring Vuckmir singing, : "Lock her up", "Lock her up", was especially humiliating, for Wisconsinites.
It certainly didn"t help them, even in the most gerrymandered , voter suppressed state in the Nation


So the question that needs to be asked, if Scotty would have won, would they still be proposing these limits on power. If I was a betting person, I be willing to take bets on the answer to that one.


I have felt for years that the Republican Party is a criminal conspiracy whose existence depends on rigging the system through voter suppression, gerrymandering, dark money, and now this. Do they really care about democracy, or do they only care about maintaining their power? I think the answer is the latter.


I have felt for years that blind partisanship causes one to cry “Foul!’ when the other side does something wrong but ignores the wrong-doing when their own party does it. Oldhomey blamed the open records nonsense in Racine on the GOP, for example. He overlooked the fact that all of the parties in that dispute are Democrats. When I pointed it out, he went on a similar rant about gerrymandering.

Let me be clear, any attempt by the legislature to limit the new governor is wrong. Elections have consequences. As we’ve seen in the US Senate, when one party changes the rules, that rule change often comes back to bite them in the rear when the other side uses that same change against them later. “Foul!”, they cry.

Walker deserved to lose because of Foxconn but the legislature in Wisconsin remains strongly Republican. They should not and do not need to engage in trickery. If they do, they’ll likely pay for it later. The trickery needs to stop.


So explain to me how Democrats won every statewide election but there was no change in the assembly or the senate?


For someone who is blindly partisan, there probably isn’t much reason to consider each race independently. You likely just vote straight party, automatically Democrat no matter who is running. Not everyone votes that way. I think if you review most races, incumbents (both Republicans and Democrats) won. In most cases, those races were close although I’ll admit I didn’t study the results from all races closely.

I expect you were dreaming of that anti-Trump blue wave and must be disappointed your wishes weren’t granted. Get over it. Santa Claus isn’t real either. About half of the population disagrees with your liberal views and about half disagree with my conservative views. Perhaps you’ll find a way to cope. Telling lies and self-righteously claiming it’s only ‘the other guys’ who play politics isn’t working.


In the Wisconsin Assembly Democrats got 54% of the vote and 36 seats. Republicans got 45% and 63 seats. Go figure!


It's called gerrymandering.


I forgot to add constant blatant lying and misinformation.

Rick Czeczok

Yea and you say others are crazy. What a wakko!!!!!!


The GOP version of "I lost so I'm taking my ball and leaving".


Interesting. I voted for a Governor with full powers of the office. Perhaps I would have voted differently had I known my vote was for a half governor. If this is legal it still hits rock bottom ethically. How about this? The man takes office with the normal powers and THEN the republicans try to remove some of them? Ha! The fact is, republicans don't care about their constituents - meaning all of us.


Sounds like the DemoRats wanting to throw out the electoral college, in Georgia there’s a push to let illegals vote.
Being sore losers was invented by DemoRats .
Now listen to them cry!! HILARIOUS!!
What goes around comes around. Besides DemoRats have been doing this to Trump since he got elected.


Please explain/cite evidence that the US Congress has put in place rules or laws that limit the current President's powers of office. I'll wait patiently for your reply.


You are an idiot, try to connect the dots. The DemoRats want to end the way the president is elected because the chosen one Hil liar y didn’t get elected. Now that Walker lost, the Republicans are thinking of ways to limit Evers power. The connection
, for you morons out there who can’t think, is that both parties are acting like cry babies because they lost.BUT, the liberals came up with the idea of shafting the winner first.


You are so childish. And wrong. How is it living in Rush Limbaugh's Kool Aid world? You geeting lonely yet? Well, if you are you are about to get more so in 2020.

GET Schools

When one party wins they say, "Hey, elections have consequences, suck it up!" When the other party wins the same bunch says, "Quick, let's make some new laws to undermine the winner!"


Just who do they think they are, Sarah Huckabee Sanders?


No they are trying to act like DemoRats.


Real intelligent response.


This is NOT acceptable! Enough of special interests interfering with our government - c'mon, Wisconsin; let's stand up and say enough to these continual backdoor efforts to sabotage the direction in which we want the state to go. Would all of this be going on if Walker had won? Of course not, and it should not be going on now.

The Mouse of Death

[censored]It would behoove us to undermine the Tony Evers executive powers because we are sore losers so always resort to sneaky dirty tricks. We are indeed bemezzled indeed by the cheating and the deviousness and the chicanery and the sneakery and snookery and the weaselery and the Stormy and the Melania so $130,000.




Like undermining how presidents are elected, correct?


if you search your memory banks hoaxer man, you will know that eliminating the electoral college has been talked about for many decades. Why is that do you suppose. Is it because it is an antiquated system designed over 200 years ago to keep the real power of electing to the president to an elite few ? Is this country ready for a true democracy where majority of voters decide the president, and each vote counts the same no matter where you live and vote. Gee doesn't that sound like a fair and honest way of running a democracy? Or would it be better to have an elite few decide the outcome and disregard the popular vote? That has been to topic of discussion long before Trump came on to the scene.


Please identify the ‘elite few’ who get to elect the president because of the electoral college.


You mean like the Republicans and gerrymandering?

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