My Fellow Wisconsinites,
Thank you so much for electing me to be your next Governor. It will be an honor and a privilege to serve you as the chief executive of the great state of Wisconsin.
As many of you know, since I took office, the Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate decided to throw a pity party temper tantrum, and working with outgoing sore loser Governor Scott Walker, undid the fabric of Wisconsin's Democracy. They've dramatically pulled back the power of the Executive Branch, and shifted that power to themselves in the Legislative Branch. What they did can no longer be described as three separate branches of government, with checks and balances to keep all branches honest. We now have a Legislative Branch more powerful than the other two branches, something the founders of our state (and American Democracy) never intended, as well as a Governor whose power to run the state disappeared with a stroke of a pen. Through their machinations, the Governor of Wisconsin is pretty much a ceremonial position, with dramatically limited power.
When I was elected to be Governor, the people who voted for me were expecting me to take over the same exact office Scott Walker is vacating. Now, after Republicans lost total control over Madison, they've disrespected the voters of Wisconsin. They've negated the election results by taking the path of undermining your mandate, as dictated to them by you, the residents of Wisconsin.
This is why I'm making this solemn, but resolute pledge. I, as Governor, will not sign one piece of Legislation, including emergency relief for storm damage and natural disasters, until the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate restore the powers of the Governor's office to the levels they themselves were content with under Scott Walker.
I want to apologize first to the people who might be in line for emergency relief funds in the future. With my limited powers remaining, I will direct the state agencies I still control to help you in any way possible through these trying times. I know this might seem like I'm taking my frustrations with the Wisconsin Republicans out on you, but I take no pleasure in such a serious and far reaching stance. Let me explain how I came to make this decision.
The Wisconsin Republican Party are a bunch of liars. If Scott Walker would've won re-election, they would've NEVER muted his powers. This decision was hyper-partisan, a result of their losing the election and refusing to relinquish the control they've had for eight years. I've heard the leaders of the Senate and Assembly imply, now that they have neutered the Governor's office as much as they have, they hope I can get past my partisan feelings and work with them to move Wisconsin forward. Their brazen disrespect of me, the voters, and the Democracy of Wisconsin is outrageous.
Since this is Wisconsin, let me explain what they did in football terms. They decided to do away with kickoffs and punts, and will instead place the football one inch outside of my goal whenever one of us has the ball. They contend this a 'fair, impartial' starting position. Then the Republicans insist I'm the bad guy because I'm not willing to move the ball another half inch towards my goal. I've decided it's in my best interests, and the best interest of the state of Wisconsin, to not even play this incredibly fixed version of the game.
But the real terrifying element of what the Wisconsin Republicans did is how un-American it really is. This is some third world, evil despot kind of maneuvering. When Russian dictator Vladimir Putin was President of Russia for the first time, he insisted all the power to run the country needed to be filtered through his office. Then, when he became Prime Minister, he re-wrote the government's rules so everything would then flow through the Prime Minister's office. Then, when he re-assumed the Presidency, he reverted control of the Government back to that office. This is the same tactic the Wisconsin Republican Party is employing to maintain power over the state. If I was to accept this, and then leave office in four years, replaced by a Republican Governor, OF COURSE they would be insisting the powers they stripped from me need to be restored. What the Wisconsin Republicans are doing is crumbling the Democratic foundation of this state, and this country.
My decision is a line in the sand, a last stand to save the Democracy imagined by the founding father's of the United States, and by the founders of the State of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Republicans are mad with power and I will not idly stand by to see them destroy this state for personal gain.
There is no negotiation. The first bill I will sign as governor will be the bill restoring the Executive Branch to full power. Give me back the same powers which the voters wanted me to have, which you would've left in place if Walker would've won re-election. Then, and only then, can we discuss moving Wisconsin forward.
Regardless, I'll continue to work through the court system to undo your illegal actions. I know the Republicans will label me petty and bitter, but this stance is solely due to the Republicans own pettiness and bitterness; a partisan temper tantrum after the voters of this state told them they no longer wanted the Republicans in the Governor's mansion.
In the end, I'm trying to save Wisconsin, and Democracy itself, from the Wisconsin Republican's Machiavellian, illegal, anti-American power grab.
Republicans, the ball is now in your court. I await the Executive Branch Restoration bill which I vow to sign immediately.
Oh, and Go Packers!