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Please begin with an informative title:

Shhhh.  He's tried to keep this very, very secret.
Faggedabout holding a fancy bill signing press event when the bills being signed are all about extremism rushed through in the last days of the legislative session until after the November elections.  Those bills get signed in private, no cameras or reporters allowed.

Republican Wisconsin Governor Emperor Scott Walker did just that with 29 bills the Republican dominated legislature sent him after a hectic week of ramming things through.  From allowing campaign contributions to be given even earlier than ever (a tad watered down when the bill received some press attention and harsh criticism for legalizing bribery while the legislature was in session) to completely eliminating weekend early voting (and limiting early voting hours) to a business friendly measure making it more difficult to sue over asbestos exposure (even the Purple Hearts Veterans opposed that bill) to everything else on the last minute plate, Walker just signed and made a couple of veto adjustments.  

This is the second time Republicans have set limits on early voting since Walker and GOP lawmakers took control of state government in January 2011. That year, the Legislature cut early voting from three weeks, including three weekends, to two weeks, including one weekend.
Under the legislation as rewritten by Walker, early voting in clerk's offices could take place solely on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. but would not face the additional limit of 45 hours per week.

Walker also struck out a part of the bill added by Senate Republicans that would have required the state to pay for half of the expenses for smaller communities offering early voting at a cost of about $200,000.

NO MORE WEEKENDS for early voting and even the small amount that would have reimbursed small towns for early voting expenses was vetoed.  Walker can't claim he vetoed the money because "we're broke".  This is an election year, my friends, and Walker is out there proclaiming loudly and often that the state has so much money he's gonna give you a tax break.  

Don't get too excited, though, The average tax break for working schmucks will be a few bucks.  The rich, though, get a whole lot more in the normal Republican tax breaks scheme.  And Walker and his Republican band of Not So Merry Men get a nice "tax cuts for you" meme to spread around right before election day.

Republicans, of course, tout that the voting restrictions are "needed" to create "fairness" between large cities and the rest of the state.  Those smaller communities, they argue, can't afford to have weekend voting donchasee?  I'll believe that load of crap as soon as I see long lines that last for hours in those areas like the ones we have in big cities.

Nope, like their extreme gerrymandering, more voter suppression is necessary to guarantee continued Republican electoral success.  Tens of millions of dollars from the Kochs might not be enough as Wisconsinites see their kids shoehorned into classes with 40-50 other students in them with no sports, art, or music thanks to Walkers $1.8 billion in school cuts.  

They might not be happy with the bumper crop of potholes that aren't fixed because Walker and Co. have severely cut state shared revenues to cities, towns, and counties (and prohibited them from raising property taxes to make up the shortfall).  

They may not approve of the elimination of funding to Planned Parenthood, making contraception less available, and the TRAP laws that have closed abortion clinics.

They may not be happy with making it easier to open pit mine and pollute air, land and water as much as they like.  Or may be unhappy about opening state parks to hunting, even close to hiking trails.  

They may not be happy with Walkers union busting and theft of about 18% of public employee wages throughout the state that have devastated the economy.  Nor will many be happy at the expense Walker incurred suppressing free speech in our State Capitol by bringing in sheriffs and troopers from other areas to serve as his goon squad to arrest anyone found guilty of singing, tapping their toe, or showing any appreciation for noon-time music in the Rotunda.

Walker had to take care of all this business today because this weekend he'll be in Las Vegas kissing Sheldon Adelsons ring.  Not that he's running for president, you know (wink, wink).  If you ask him, he'll tell you he's all about being Governor of Wisconsin (wink, cough, wink).  Well, at least until the November is election is over.


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Originally posted to Puddytat on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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