Tuesday, February 20, 2007


The Frankenstein veto should go. Everyone agrees. Even the senate Democrats support its abolition. But now is just not the time. Not with a Democrat governor. We'll quit drinking tomorrow. We'll stop using cocaine when the stress dies down. Just look into our eyes and trust us. We will.


Anonymous said...

Remember that the so-called Frankenstein veto would have had a stake driven through its heart when Thompson was Governor if the same Republican who clammer for its adoption would have held the same views when Tommy G. was in the East Wing.

Strangely, you don't feel the urge to comment on their inconsistency.

Mr. Pot -- meet Mr. Kettle.

Rick Esenberg said...

If that is some Republigan took, then tht person was wrong then and right now and, yes, they have been inconsistent. But that doesn't excuse this.

Anonymous said...

Obviously you don't know the history here. Wisconsin Governors have had broad veto power forever but the first really "creative" use didn't occur until Marty Schreiber was the Acting Governor. Marty cut out a few words from the bill which created the campaign finance grant program.

As the bill passed the legislature, citizens who checked the box on the tax return would be adding to their tax liability to fund it; Marty changed it so that checking the box didn't increase your liability. This was hugely controversial at the time (pre-1978).

Lee Dreyfus and Tony Earl also used the power, but not in grossly offensive ways. (Overturning a veto wasn't a big deal then; Democrats did it to Pat Lucey and Tony Earl with some regularity.)

But it all changed when Tommy G. Thompson ascended to the throne -- it was no longer possible for any Republican to vote to override a veto and the use of the partial veto power got more and more bizarre.

And Tommy insisted on 100% party loyalty at all times. The one time when everyone agreed he had made a political mistake, a separate bill was introduced and passed so that his override-proof streak of 1500+ vetoes would not be tarnished.

And so Democrats offered a Constitutional amendment to restrict this power. To her credit, Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, then in the Assembly, supported this effort, but virtually every other Republican sat on his or her hands.

Jim Doyle would not have had the ability to do what he has done had Republican legislators had the moral strength to do what they insist Democrats should do now.

Yes, you're right that this shouldn't be a partisan issue -- right is right, after all, and wrong is wrong. But I think you let your Republican cronies off the hook much, much too easily when you gloss over and fail to acknowledge how we got to the present state of affairs.

Had the people now crying that the sky is falling had an ounce of political courage, the problem would have been solved more than a decade ago.

chide said...

If the Democrats currently in charge of the senate had even an ounce of political courage we wouldn't be having this conversation.