Lawmakers Clash And Protesters Chant Amid Fight Over Wisconsin Governor’s Power

Andy Olsen of Madison accused Republicans of rejecting “the basic fundamental ground rules of American democracy.” Martha Pincus of Fox Point said Republicans were “disrespecting their constituents.” A Sheboygan native quoted the prophet Isaiah in explaining his opposition. A man from Wonewoc invoked Eisenhower.

For hours, lawmakers sat quietly and listened, reading off the surnames of the teachers and retirees and college students who accused them of disregarding their votes and dishonoring Wisconsin.

“This committee is intentionally ignoring the will of the people,” said Gail Milbrath, a retired teacher from Milwaukee. “Stop cheating because you lost. It’s such poor sportsmanship. Come on.”

By Tuesday evening, the crowd at the Capitol had dwindled some, but Linda Walter, 62, remained near the Assembly chamber. Ms. Walter, a Madison resident, said she did not identify as either Republican or Democrat, but was upset with how lawmakers were treating Mr. Evers.

“Republicans are out to get him already,” Ms. Walter said.

Ms. Walter said she did not buy the claims that Republicans might have considered similar bills under Mr. Walker — “total bunk,” she said — and she grew emotional describing the state of politics in her state.

“People just have to start being nice again,” Ms. Walter said.

For his part, Governor Walker, the departing Republican, came to the Capitol on Tuesday to light the annual Christmas tree, a 35-to-40-foot balsam fir grown in Plainfield, Wis., and adorned with dairy-themed ornaments, including cheese wheels and cows.

When Mr. Walker was called to the podium, boos outnumbered cheers. When he spoke, protesters held signs with messages like “All I Want for Christmas Is Democracy.” Mr. Walker left without taking questions, though a day earlier, at a Menorah lighting, he spoke in general support of the Republican lawmakers’ goals without definitively saying whether he would sign the bills.

“Much of what is being debated, and I assume will get to our desk in one form or another, is similar to what we’ve done in practice,” Mr. Walker said. “This is just putting into statutes what we’ve done in practice.”

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Lawmakers Clash and Protesters Chant Amid Fight Over Wisconsin Governor’s Power
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