Well, aren’t we a bunch of dumb (uh-oh, can’t use that word.)

I’m catching up on news now that I’m back in the real world. Doyle’s veto flat blows me away. I feel completely and utterly stupid. We wasted two years of listening to Republican legislatures tout how important the constitutional amendment to change the governor’s veto powers would be to our state and we end up with this:

For example, the bill sent to Doyle called for spending cuts and transfers from state funds equal to “$69,000,000 during the 2007-09 fiscal biennium and $69,000,000 during the 2009-11 fiscal biennium.” By deleting words and individual characters within that phrase, Doyle changed it to a single figure — “$270,000,000” — the amount by which he ordered state spending be reduced.

The local paper says:

Doyle’s vetoes were the first since voters slightly limited his powers on April 1. Voters approved a constitutional change that ended the “Frankenstein veto” by saying that governors could not strike words from two or more sentences to make new sentences.

But the governor still may strike individual sentences or parts of sentences and erase individual digits and string numbers together in one sentence. On Friday, Doyle used the 2, 7 and 0 from a reference to the years 2007-’09 to order $270 million in spending cuts by July 1, 2009.

Once again, I was sold something by the representatives that were supposed to be working FOR me and it turns out I got ripped off. I am completely disgusted by this outcome. Doyle must have been laughing his (better not use that word either) off all the way to the voting booth last April.

By the way, here’s what we actually voted for – what was actually on the ballot:

QUESTION 1: Partial veto
QUESTION 1: “Partial veto. Shall section 10 (1) (c) of article V of the constitution be amended to prohibit the governor, in exercising his or her partial veto authority, from creating a new sentence by combining parts of two or more sentences of the enrolled bill?”

I could have sworn that we voted to eliminate what Doyle just did. Someone needs to get busy and elect representatives that can actually write laws. The ignorance we just witnessed must stop.

I can’t believe how angry I am over this one. Un*******believable.


  1. OK, perhaps I’m just confused here, but…

    Didn’t Doyle just approve of more spending cuts? I thought conservatives would like to hear of more cuts.

  2. Kathryn says:

    Yeah, but we wanted spending cuts and an end to legislation created on-the-fly by the executive branch. We thought we had an amendment to cover that last bit. What ever happened to separation of powers?

  3. So wait…Jim Doyle uses the veto that a majority of Wisconsin’s voters elected to give him to cut spending even further than what Republicans wanted, and somehow he’s the bad guy?

  4. Oh, Zach, give me 24 hours. I’m catching up.

    So are you happy that Doyle now appears to be more concerned about spending than most Wisconsin elected Republicans?

  5. Along with Kathryn (and I believe Cindy), I believed we were getting rid of the Franken-veto with the last referendum. It appears we did not, whether or not the governor finds more spending cuts or not, the power appears to be still there which makes one wonder exactly what did we fix with our vote?

    Franken-veto lives no matter what Doyle does with it.

  6. Kathryn says:

    No, Zach, he’s not the bad guy. He may have done very well by us. The problem is that he still has superpowers after we bought the Kryptonite.

  7. Cheri M. says:

    OK, *I’d* like some of those superpowers. Say I get a utility bill for $197.02. Could I write a check for, say… $102.79 and call it even? Better yet, if the date on the bill is 05/15/08, could I write a check for $5.15, borrowing those digits from the date?

    LOL, this reminds me of a recent charity to which our daughter chose to donate… so we made the check out for an amount which represented her birthdate: $215.97!

    Back to topic, unfortunately, Doyle may be establishing precedent here by FRANKing the amounts when most people find it agreeable (the extremes justify the means) and then use the same procedure later down the road in a manner we find devastating. Remember the rule of the road in politics is “silence is consent”. If we are silent now, and precedent is established, we may have given carte blanche to do WHATEV in the future. I am very concerned about this. I believe in going with the truth, not not looking the other way when happens to be beneficial. To whom do we address our concern? State Representatives? Senators? Both?

  8. Greg & Zach – Yes you are confused. The point is not in who gets an advantage by saving or spending. It is the corruption of our representative form of government. Frankenein vetos and judges legislating from the bench. Just what our forefathers envisioned.

  9. Leapin, I’m not confused; you must have me mistaken for someone else.

    As for the comments about Doyle still having such broad veto powers, don’t blame him – blame the folks that wrote the ballot question they way it was written. To be honest, despite what’s happened with this particular issue, the Governor’s veto powers have been curtailed, so at least it’s a start.

  10. Kathryn says:

    Who’s blaming Doyle? I believe Cindy put the blame squarely on the legislators who drafted the amendment.

  11. Franken-veto is not by any stretch of the imagination “corruption.”

    And legislating from the bench is just a catch-phrase to say you don’t like a Liberal (capital L) interpretation of our laws. Of course, we’d still have Plessy vs. Ferguson if it weren’t for “legislating from the bench.”

    But, I digress.

  12. Kathryn says:

    You are right, Shawn, but try to look past the rhetoric. Nobody is advocating for a return to
    Plessy v Ferguson.

    Basically, people want to understand what to expect from their government. People don’t like the Frankenstein veto because we don’t know what to expect, the lines aren’t clear anymore. A veto–even a line-item veto–should be only that, not a creative power, not a law-making power.

    The ‘corruption’ is not money-grubbing, but the blurring of boundaries, the lack of a clear process with understandable outcomes. Legislating from the bench might be more myth than fact, but the possibility of it alarms people because that is not how the system is supposed to work. Same thing with frankenveto. I am glad that school funding was not delayed, glad that federal funds marked for one purpose were not spent on something else, glad that we aren’t trying to spend so much more than we have in the purse. I like what Doyle accomplished, but I object to how he did it–not because it is illegal, but because it ought to be illegal an I had thought it so.

  13. Kathryn, you nailed it. Thanks for taking the time to write the comment.

  14. steveegg called it Zombie-Franken-veto over at The Daily Scoff.

    Wasn’t Plessy v. Ferguson legislating from the bench also?

    My definition of legislating from the bench and judicial activism is when judges write laws. This from what I see is not democracy or even a democratic republic, but an oligarchy.

  15. We voted to get rid of what was called the Frankenstein veto. The ability of make changes across more than one sentence. We did get rid of that. What still remains is what is known as the Vanna White veto which allows the governor to strike words and letters/numbers within a single sentence. The April vote did not get rid of that capability. You had to pay attention but it was reported that the governor still had great latitude when vetoing legislation. The real same is that the legislature wrote a single sentence that allowed the governor to make the changes he did. In this case I would say the legislators have the greatest culpability in this case. It will take another change in the law to erase the Vanna White veto. This will be much more difficult. I would guess both parties would not be in favor of that.

  16. The Vanna White veto. I like that.

  17. I did too, Dean, so I messed with this today. It’s not up to my usual photoshop standards, so I didn’t blog it.


  18. Dan, I don’t have a clue how it would work. I have this one on the blog’s file. I think you could probably embed something – all I did here was type the html code in the comment box and it popped up. You ‘d have to understand html to make it work.

  19. you can always link the old fashioned way

    and what’s with the word fixation?


  1. […] The Daily Scoff’s jj gravelle was also surprised that Franken-veto (called Zombie Franken-veto by steveegg in the comments) was alive and well. Cindy Kilkenny was flummoxed as well. […]