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Monday - April 2, 2018 2:53 am

UW-L poly scientist says special election fight may tarnish GOP image in Wisconsin Featured

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The risk of losing two seats in the legislature might not be as bad for Wisconsin Republicans as the fallout from attempts to avoid having special elections.

UW-La Crosse political scientist Joe Heim told WIZM that the image of the Wisconsin GOP may suffer over the election fight.

“You think (the GOP was saying), 'Well the courts aren't going to let us do this, they're going to force us to, so we're just going to change the law,’” Heim said. “I think that kind of gives an image of arrogance to the Republican Party.”

After three courts ruled that state law requires elections for filling two vacant seats, Governor Scott Walker finally announced June dates for those races Door County and near Madison, after the GOP attempted to change the laws and bypass having elections for those districts at all.

Several Republicans defended Walker's reasons for trying to avoid special elections, but Heim says the recent dispute could have been avoided.

“The governor gave lot of different reasons — (a special election is) confusing, it cost money,” Heim said. “The fact is, he could have called these elections in early January. It would have been on the February ballot or the April ballot.”

Heim added that even if Democrats do win, the balance of power in Madison would not change much. And, whatever party does win, it will tout that as having changed the momentum of its opponents heading into November.

Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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