2018 | Week of November 12 | #1281
Election 2018 is history. Well, it’s almost history. We might have a couple of recounts, including one for attorney general and one in Assembly District 14.
However, as it stands right now, Democrat Tony Evers is governor-elect, joined by Mandela Barnes as lieutenant governor-elect. Democrat Josh Kaul is currently attorney-general elect. Two other statewide offices are also now held by Democrats—state treasurer and secretary of state, a position Democrat Doug LaFollette has held since 1983.
In the legislature, Republicans maintained strong majorities in both the Assembly and the Senate, actually gaining a seat in the Senate, with pro-life champion André Jacque coming out of the state Assembly to win the seat in the first senate district that had been under Democratic control since June’s special election.
Our federal results held the status quo. Democrat Tammy Baldwin will return to Washington for her second term as US Senator. In the US House of Representatives, all the incumbents held serve. The only open seat we had for the House was in District 1, where Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan decided not to run after holding that seat since 1999. Bryan Steil defeated Randy Bryce in that race, keeping the seat in Republican hands, which means Wisconsin did not play into Democrats’ gains in the House and didn’t add to the Republicans’ majority in the Senate.
So what do the results mean for state government? Actually, they mean quite a bit. First, look for all agency and department heads to change since those are all positions appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the governor. In all likelihood, starting in January they’ll be led by people far more liberal than the ones appointed by Governor Walker. That’s significant. Many laws get skin on them, so to speak, in bureaucracies, which have the authority to write rules and regulations that actually implement the laws the legislature passes. Liberal agency secretaries tend to write those rules and regulations in ways that don’t protect freedoms and don’t give citizens the benefit of the doubt.
In addition, Evers will get to appoint people of his choosing to fill any judicial vacancies in state courts. With Republicans threatening to rein-in the executive branch in a special session yet this year, we’ll have to wait to see what difference that may make in the new governor’s authority and reach.
In the Attorney General’s office, I look for the new AG to, at a minimum, remove the state from lawsuits it is currently involved in that take a conservative position on various laws. Kaul has already indicated he will remove the state from the lawsuit against the federal Affordable Care Act.
Of course, with the legislature being firmly in Republican control, there is a high likelihood for gridlock. In my opinion, the very best thing Republicans could do is to pass legislation that strengthens, preserves and promotes marriage, family, life and religious freedom, as well as economic growth and individual freedom. Get such bills to the governor and force him to either sign them or veto them.
Republicans have a great opportunity to clearly be the good guys in this divided government. This will take courage and determination—a resolute will to do the right thing. Essentially that will require character. This session will definitely test the character mettle of our state legislators. If they fail the test, then voters can have their say in the next election. In the meantime, citizens need to stay informed and involved, encouraging their elected representatives to do the right thing.
One other consequence of this election is that Tony Evers, currently State Superintendent of Public Instruction, will get to appoint his successor to that position after Evers is inaugurated on January 7. Evers has three more years of his four-year term left. It’s a given he’ll appoint someone who shares his view of education—which has proven to be very liberal.
An important takeaway from this election is that it is now glaringly obvious that to win future statewide races, conservatives must have huge turnouts in areas outside Madison and Milwaukee, which are turning out liberal votes in extraordinarily high numbers. We saw this first this past spring in the supreme court race, and we saw it again Tuesday in every statewide race.
It’s been eight years since we’ve had to deal with a split government in The Badger State. We are about to be reminded that elections have very real consequences.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”