Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s Republican legislative allies were “giddy” at the prospect that a radical rewrite of voting laws would benefit their political prospects.
So said a former Republican legislative aide who was in the room in 2011, when Republican members of the Wisconsin state Senate were scheming to enact one of the most rigid voter-identification laws in the nation. Recalling that top legislators talked openly about how the new law would impact prospective voters in the heavily Democratic city of Milwaukee, and on college campuses that have leaned Democratic in recent years—and that one legislator told his colleagues: “What I’m concerned about here is winning, and that’s what really matters here.… We better get this done quickly while we have the opportunity”—Todd Allbaugh told a hushed federal courtroom that the Republican legislators were visibly excited about what the voter-ID law could mean for them politically.
“I’ve characterized it as giddy and that’s part of what bothered me so much,” Allbaugh said Monday, in testimony on the opening day of a trial before US District Judge James Peterson.
The trial is examining issues raised in a lawsuit brought by 10 Wisconsin voters and a pair of activist groups—the One Wisconsin Institute and the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund—charging that Republican legislators (most of whom were closely allied with Walker) enacted a number of laws that were designed to disenfranchise minorities, students, and other groups of prospective voters that often back Democrats.
It's so nice when people enjoy their work, don't you think?
And nothing seems to please the Republicans more than taking away the rights of their fellow citizens, whether it be the right to choose, the right to free speech, or the right to vote.
This, this is why we need to turn out in large numbers, much like we did in 2008 and 2012, to vote in this next election.
Because while Democrats argue and fight like little children, the Republicans are throwing up roadblocks to make it ever harder for us to exercise our rights as citizens.