October 28, 2011
Sen. Larson Urges Protection of People’s Right to Representation, Not Legislators’ Jobs
Sen. Chris Larson (D–Milwaukee) issued the following statement Friday in response to legislation proposed by Sen. Mary Lazich that seeks to circumvent the will of the people to protect the jobs of Republicans facing recalls:
“By circulating the ‘Protect Republican’s Power Grab’ legislation today, Republicans seem to be more interested in protecting their own jobs than finding jobs for our struggling, unemployed neighbors. This legislation attempts to silence the people’s voice and prevent Wisconsinites from holding their representatives accountable by ensuring that Republicans facing recall can run in their new, gerrymandered districts rather than the districts that elected them to office. The new districts are not supposed to go into effect for elections until the general election in November 2012, but Republicans are trying to push up that date to make their divisive districts effective immediately.
“If you purchase a vacuum at a department store and are unhappy with its performance, you can return it with a receipt. Unfortunately, this legislation is telling Wisconsinites who bought into what was being sold by Republicans in the 2010 elections and are now dissatisfied with the purchase that they cannot make such a return even though they have the Wisconsin Constitution as their receipt.
“Not only is this effort by Republicans to save their own jobs unethical, but it is also unconstitutional. Article XIII, Section 12 of the Wisconsin Constitution states that laws may be enacted to facilitate the operation of recalling elective officers, but no law shall be enacted to hamper, restrict or impair the right of recall.
“The recall process was codified in our state’s constitution not to protect the rights of elected officials, but rather to protect the rights of the electorate to be properly represented. I will continue fighting to protect the rights of people across Wisconsin by upholding our state’s constitution and its provisions related to recall elections.”