A top Republican businessman in Wisconsin is urging Gov. Scott Walker (R) and other lawmakers to stop what he called their “conniving” to quell early voting measures and diminish the powers of recently elected Democrats.
Millionaire Sheldon Lubar was voted one of the most influential businessmen in Milwaukee in 2015, and had previously donated to one of Walker’s campaigns. But he called out the state’s conservative leadership Tuesday after Republican lawmakers moved ahead with a striking power grab against incoming Democrats, including Gov.-elect Tony Evers, who defeated Walker last month.
The new measures, expected to be signed into law by Walker, would give the Wisconsin Legislature full control of a state economic development agency. They would also kneecap early voting and block Evers’ ability to write regulations.
In an email to Walker, Lubar asked the outgoing governor to reflect on what his recently deceased father would think of his behavior. He accused Walker of letting his political ambitions get in the way of real leadership.
“I am not proud to read in the Milwaukee newspapers and learn the conniving that Wisconsin Republicans, led by you and certain others, are planning,” Lubar wrote in the email, as reported Tuesday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “If you are asking why I changed, I must say I didn’t, you did. You let your presidential political ambitions supersede your duties and obligations to the people of Wisconsin. This was too much for me.”
In recent days, Wisconsin’s Capitol has been flooded with demonstrators chanting “Shame! Shame!” at the Republican lawmakers hoping to gut the legislative power of the Democrats replacing them in January.
Lubar, who held appointed positions in Washington under three presidents ― including commissioner of the White House Conference on Small Business under President Jimmy Carter ― said moving forward with the measures would go against the will of Wisconsin voters.
“What they are planning for the Republican Party of Wisconsin will malign its integrity and lead to its downfall,” he wrote. “Worse, it will damage Wisconsin as it ignores the will of the majority of Wisconsin voters.”