Outgoing Gov. Scott Walker used a very bad chart to defend Republicans’ lame-duck power grab in Wisconsin.
Walker held an event in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Friday afternoon to announce he’ll sign GOP-pushed legislation that will strip many of the powers of incoming Democrats Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul.
“The will of the voters four years ago was to elect me to a term that ends January 7th,” Walker said. “So I don’t stop, even though the media treats an election as though that’s the end of a term. It’s not.”
The legislation has sparked protests and prompted Evers to say he may challenge the GOP power grab in court, but Walker’s argument is that it’s not the big deal some are cracking it up to be. And during the event on Friday, he tried to make that point with the help of a Venn diagram that lists a number of “powers” Walker and Evers will purportedly share, like “VETO AUTHORITY” and “POWERFUL CHIEF EXECUTIVE.”
There’s just one problem — Walker doesn’t seem to understand how Venn diagrams work. Venn diagrams illustrate commonality between two sets of things that are different. So if the powers Walker and Evers share are really the same, there’d be no need for a Venn diagram at all. The powers could be listed on a single circle.
Alas, it is not the case that Evers will enjoy the same powers as Walker. Vox’s Tara Golshan detailed a few of the ways the legislation diminishes Evers’s authority, along with the authority of AG-elect Kaul relative to the outgoing Republican attorney general, Brad Schimel.
— Cut down the number of early voting days, limiting it to two weeks. This would likely draw legal challenges; the proposal is very similar to a previous law that the courts struck down in 2016 for “stifling votes for partisan gain.”
— Give the legislature more power over the boards of certain commissions, like the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the state’s jobs-focused agency, which has come under a lot of scrutiny for giving the Taiwanese company Foxconn Technology Group $3 billion in tax breaks in exchange for their $10 billion factory — an investment that even the state’s Legislative Bureau said the state wouldn’t bring returns until after 2043. Evers said he wanted to get rid of WEDC altogether, as it has garnered a reputation for falling short of its jobs promise.
— Limit Evers’s abilities to change the state’s work requirement laws around food stamps and health care, giving the legislature oversight over any federal waivers the state has received. Walker pushed for Medicaid work requirement waivers and waivers to drug test food stamp recipients.
— Stop Wisconsin’s incoming attorney general from withdrawing the state from a federal lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, instead requiring legislative approval to do so.
Unsurprisingly, the cuts to early voting, the move to strip Evers of economic powers, and other changes weren’t alluded to on Walker’s chart.