Retired County Line Publisher

Take a deep breath. One more week. I certainly hope that at least a portion of the gusher of money spent on political attack ads filtered down to the worker bees’ paychecks. It used to be of all the media, television paid the worst.  Or was it radio? At my age, most of the news people appear to have only recently completed junior high, so I guess not much has changed. 

When I was at the doctor last week, a nurse commented that although she planned to vote, in her opinion nothing would ever change. It’s all talk. I am not so sure. There are such stark differences among the candidates this time, so I wouldn’t bet on it.

Consider the candidates for governor: Tony Evers and Tim Michels. Both would benefit from a Dale Carnegie class (author of “How to Win Friends and Influence Enemies”). It’s painful at times to listen to either one. 

Tony, however, wins the award for the busiest veto pen, probably in Wisconsin history. Over his four years in office, he has vetoed 126 bills approved by the Republican-led legislature. 

It is hard to say how many of those bills would come before Tim Michels should he win. But it’s a safe bet he would sign most of them — if he can leave his home in Connecticut long enough to come to Madison. Furthermore, if the Republicans win one more seat in the senate and five in the Assembly, they will have a veto-proof majority, making the governor’s veto irrelevant.

So, under either of these scenarios, here are just some of the bills vetoed by Evers that could reappear under Michels:

• Remove all income and enrollment caps on the private school voucher program, meaning any number of kids from affluent families could be sent to private, religious schools at taxpayers’ expense (often called “Universal School Choice”)

• Require people to send a separate request for an absentee ballot every election — producing a copy of their photo ID each time — and require voters to declare in writing if they want someone outside of their immediate family to return their absentee ballot 

• Mandate the state to verify that people on the registration list are U.S. citizens and require courts to notify clerks when jurors say they’re not citizens

• Prevent future administrations from deeming businesses as “essential” or “nonessential” during a pandemic, meaning that if a public health emergency were ordered, the state could either close all businesses or none 

• Require employers to accept proof of “natural immunity” in place of a COVID-19 vaccine 

• Let parents opt out of their child’s school mask mandate

• Exempt guns made in Wisconsin from federal firearm laws, and ban the enforcement of any federal firearm laws that restrict semi-automatic weapons or assault weapons

• Shield gun and ammunition manufacturers from civil lawsuits like the one that resulted in a $73 million settlement between families of Sandy Hook victims and the gun-maker Remington

• Allow concealed carry permit-holders to carry guns in their vehicles on school grounds

• Let concealed carry permit-holders carry guns at a place of worship on a private school campus

• Recognize concealed carry permits from other states regardless of whether they conduct criminal background checks on gun owners

 • Potentially cut unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to as little as 14 depending on the statewide unemployment rate 

• Cut off Medicaid, or BadgerCare, to adults without kids if they turn down an offer to work more, or turn down a raise in order to remain eligible for Medicaid 

• Cut off Medicaid, or BadgerCare, to adults without kids for six months if they fail to report a change in eligibility for the program 

  • Required able-bodied adults without children who are seeking FoodShare benefits to search for work and get tested for drugs

  • Penalize unemployment insurance recipients who “ghost” employers, or don’t show up to a scheduled job interview

• Expand the legally allowed work hours for minors under 16 

When it came to hunting and fishing, Evers vetoed bills that would have allowed for the hunting of farm-raised bighorn sheep or gazelle, required the Department of Natural Resources to stock pheasants, and required the DNR to annually stock Lake Michigan with at least 100,000 brook trout.

Depending on your view, you might support some or all of these proposals. But it should be clear that whoever wins, elections have consequences.