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Don Moynihan
Politics in Wisconsin has devolved into a mixture of absurd pettiness and serious erosion of democratic norms. Today, the Senate GOP prepares to reject the first Cabinet nominee since records have been kept because he urged more funding to reduce suicide in farm communities. 1/
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Don Moynihan Nov 5
Replying to @donmoyn
The nominee, Brad Pfaff, was nominated back in Jan. He is supported by all trade associations and was by all Republicans in an oversight committee back in February. He is eminently qualified. 2/
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Don Moynihan Nov 5
Replying to @donmoyn
So what happened to this nominee that everyone agreed was qualified? He criticized the Senate majority leader for not supporting $100K in funding to reduce suicides in farm communities. The Senate Majority leader then pledged to block his nomination. 3/
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Don Moynihan Nov 5
Replying to @donmoyn
The broader story here is that after a bruising power-grab last December, the WI legislature have been slow-walking approving Democratic Governor Ever’s nominees. The first five, nominated in January, were not considered until October. Normally, confirmations are routine. 4/
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Don Moynihan Nov 5
Replying to @donmoyn
The net effect of refusing to confirm Ever's nominees is to transform Cabinet officials, properly understood as appointees of the Democratic Governor, to be at-will employees of the GOP legislature. Offend the wrong legislator, and the acting nominee is removed from office. 5/
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Don Moynihan Nov 5
Replying to @donmoyn
It is a normal part of representative politics that cabinet secretaries will clash with legislators of the other party on policy issues. It is entirely abnormal that the legislature reserves the right to fire Cabinet officials over those clashes. 6/
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Don Moynihan Nov 5
Replying to @donmoyn
The same legislators who are pushing legislation to punish students they characterize as snowflakes unable to deal with free speech are firing Cabinet officials who have offended them by accurately characterizing their policy positions 7/
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Don Moynihan Nov 5
Replying to @donmoyn
There it is: WI GOP votes not to confirm a qualified Cabinet nominee, effectively firing him from his acting status, for the sin of offending a legislative officer. Only time in at least 30 years. In effect, a legislative usurpation of executive power. 8/
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Don Moynihan Nov 5
Replying to @donmoyn
As a WI Cabinet official is fired by the legislature for raising the issue of farm suicides, MN continues to troll Its neighbor with the sort of good governance WI used to specialize in 9/
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Don Moynihan Nov 5
Replying to @donmoyn
This episode is a discontinuity with historical WI political norms (never happened in 30+ years!), but a direct extension of the GOP power grab I wrote abt last Dec Increasingly, the GOP brand is: elections are not binding, and norms are for suckers. 10/
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Don Moynihan Nov 5
Replying to @donmoyn
Now the Senate majority leader says he may fire another Cabinet official b/c (drumroll) she had a disagreement with a GOP appointee to a board no-one has heard of. What's next? Fire the Transportation Secretary for not picking up FitzGerald's laundry? 11/
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