Ex-Wisconsin GOP governor calls on Walker to reject measures curbing Dems' power

Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott McCallum (R) is calling for Gov. Scott Walker (R) to reject some of the measures the state's Legislature passed to limit incoming Democratic officials' authority. 

“It appears completely political, (like) a power grab,” McCallum told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Saturday, before adding that Walker has the chance to avoid the “appearance of sour grapes."

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McCallum, who served as governor from 2001 to 2003, noted that Walker should be "open and transparent and reach out in a very public fashion” to discuss the lame-duck legislative session with incoming Gov.-elect Tony Evers (D). 

Evers defeated Walker in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race in November.

The Republican-led Wisconsin state Senate passed measures last week that would curb power from Evers and state Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul (D). They also passed a measure to reduce the duration of early voting in the state.

McCallum told the newspaper that Walker should veto some of the proposals passed by the Legislature. He said that both parties have played political games in the past, but that “we seem to be going down a very slippery slope of personal power over public policy.”

“It’s the wrong time to do it," McCallum said of the Republicans' move to alter policies after Democrats were elected governor and attorney general. "It's not done for the right reason. It is not transparent. It is not a good way to create public policy."

"There are going to be differences over executive control and legislative control, but you don’t play it out in the dark of night," he added. "You don’t make the changes after an election without hearings, without having the public involved, without having a vetting process. You can understand why there is frustration by the public with the system.”

Evers said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he is considering all of his options for an effort to push back against state Republicans' initiatives. He noted that he's spoken with Walker over the phone to urge him to veto legislation. 

But he said the outgoing governor was "noncommittal." 

"I’m not particularly encouraged at this point in time, but it’s around Scott Walker’s legacy," Evers said. "He has the opportunity to change this and actually validate the will of the people."