Monkeyleg/Wisconsinites: Postelection Update?


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antsi
November 16, 2004, 11:45 PM
Hey, Wisconsinites - did you make any gains on CCW in the last round of elections? Is CCW likely to come up again? Better chances, or worse this time?

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Monkeyleg
November 17, 2004, 07:14 PM
Antsi, I think it's really much too early to tell. The Republicans did get a net gain of one seat in the senate and one in the assembly. However, we still need three senate Democrats for a veto override.

In the assembly this past session there were some vacant seats, so we only needed six Democrats for a veto override (total 64 votes). Now that all seats are full, we have 60 Republicans, but still need six Democrats to override.

There were six senate Democrats last session who voted to override. Roger Breske was one of them. He was the first to break with Doyle and announce he'd vote to override. However, he flipped on the tax freeze and Indian gaming compact veto overrides, so he may have been given a pass by Doyle on CCW.

Senator Wirch has now voted for concealed carry four times: twice in committee, once on the regular vote, and once for the override. During the last election, Doyle gave Wirch no support. Rumor had it that it was payback for the override vote.

Senator Julie Lassa faced a primary challenger in 2003 whom Doyle supported with deeds as well as money. There's some friction between them, obviously. One legislative aide said that, after the override vote, she came out of senate minority leader Erpenbach's office in tears.

Senator Russ Decker of Wausua voted for the override. He's up for re-election in 2006, which could help us. He also had a bit of an argument with Erpenbach, which definitely helped us.

Senator Jeff Plale was facing a possible recall election, although one never materialized. A large part of his district, though, is becoming more conservative.

It's in the assembly, though, where it's going to be tough. We lost Wayne Wood, who was a solid pro-gun Democrat. His successor doesn't have a track record on guns.

The re-election of Gary Sherman could make things difficult, because other Democrats may see that he got back into office despite the efforts of the NRA and other gun groups. The flipside to that argument, though, is that he faced one of the roughest races in the state this year.

If the Kerry campaign hadn't focused so heavily on that part of the state (see the Red/Blue map), Sherman probably would have lost. He had to work his fat butt off to stay in office, and needed to have Governor Doyle make him his pet project, and parade him all over the state.

Most legislators in WI are accustomed to facing little or no re-election competition. Depending upon how Doyle's fortunes go this year, some pro-gun Democrats may decide that doing a nine-month road show with Herr Governor just to get re-elected is a lot to ask in exchange for sustaining a veto on concealed carry. Besides, how many assembly re-election campaigns can Doyle devote that amount of time to while concentrating on his own?

I've always suspected--and I've had some confirmations of my suspicions--that Doyle had another assembly member as a backup in case Sherman changed his mind and voted to override. There are a few names that spring to mind immediately, and one in particular that I'm suspicious of.

That's a long answer to a short question. Here's a shorter answer: who knows? We won't know anything until we get there.

I'm still puzzling over the Dave Zien/Dale Schultz/Scott Fitzgerald/John Gard episode. If anybody can explain that one, lunch is on me.

Gray Peterson
November 18, 2004, 04:51 AM
I'm still puzzling over the Dave Zien/Dale Schultz/Scott Fitzgerald/John Gard episode. If anybody can explain that one, lunch is on me.

What are you talking about. O.o

Monkeyleg
November 18, 2004, 06:36 PM
Lonnie, it's a Wisconsin political thing. If you're not a junkie for Wisconsin politics, it's pretty boring stuff.

But, for the cheeseheads here: Assembly speaker Jon Gard and former senate majority leader Mary Panzer never got along. When Panzer refused to schedule a vote on the taxpayer bill of rights, Gard saw an opportunity, and worked to get his friend, Representative Glenn Grothman, to run against Panzer. Grothman won.

With the reshuffling in the senate came a vote for a new majority leader. A few weeks back, Senator Scott Fitzgerald won. Fitzgerald is very conservative and, I thought, would make a good leader.

Then came a story that Senator Zien--author of WI's CCW bill, and very conservative himself--sat down with Senator Dale Schultz to figure a way to get Schultz in as majority leader. Schultz is nowhere near as conservative as Fitzgerald or Zien.

So, it was Fitzgerald out and Schultz in.

Zien was close to Panzer, and he and others may have done this to get back at Gard. Who knows?

There's the mystery.

TrapperReady
November 18, 2004, 06:44 PM
I don't know all the ins and outs, but the theory I'd heard that Fitzgerald was too close to Gard. The move was nothing more than an attempt to give some others in the legislature enough support to balance Gard.

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