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It's unsurprising but still shocking that the reign of Scott Walker is bookended by two similar assaults on the concept of democracy.

Just as Act 10 was forced through in 2011 despite widespread opposition and a near complete lack of public debate, the legislative coup in the middle of the night Tuesday was nothing less than an overturning of the November elections.

On Nov. 6, voters went to the polls with an understanding that the offices we voted on would have certain jobs and powers, and we picked who we would prefer possess those powers.

Tuesday, the heavily gerrymandered Legislature (which Republicans hold 63 to 36 in the Assembly despite Democrats winning 200,000 more votes) declared that those offices will now no longer have several of those powers.

Republican leader Robin Vos's stated reasoning was to "balance" the governor's office and Legislature, which is belied by his other statements, usually within the same breath, that they "don't trust" Evers and his "liberal agenda" (that the people voted for).

It's true that the governor office is strong, but it's because these same people just spent the last seven years giving it that power, usually at the expense of the nonpartisan civil service sector.

This bait-and-switch disregards the most basic concepts of democracy, namely peaceful transfer of power and obedience to popular will.

This fits every definition of a coup. Therefore we should ignore these changes, and Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul should govern as though these bills were not passed.

Kevin Hundt, La Crosse

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