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Press release/statement

Demos Condemns Power Grabs by Republican Leaders Aimed at Limiting the Will of the People

K. Sabeel Rahman

Statement to be attributed to the president of Demos, K. Sabeel Rahman

Republican lawmakers are undermining the will of the people with flagrant measures to curb the authority of incoming elected officials and voters. Demos strongly condemns these anti-democratic actions. They are blatant attempts to thwart the electoral system, subvert the rule of law, and entrench minority rule.

In Wisconsin, Republican leaders passed a broad set of bills to restrict the power of newly-elected Democrats. After Republican Governor Scott Walker’s defeat in the November 6 elections, which will end the state’s one-party authority, outgoing politicians want to place further limits on early voting and transfer power from the office of the governor to other lawmakers, as well as undercut the attorney general.

Similarly in Michigan, Republican lawmakers are engaged in a partisan attempt to strip authority from the state’s newly-elected secretary of state, a Democrat; reduce the capacity of the incoming governor, a Democrat; and handicap the attorney general-elect, a Democrat as well.

Direct democracy is being threatened in Ohio, where Republican lawmakers are trying to make it harder for Ohioans to put initiatives on the ballot and amend the constitution.

These attacks on democratic norms seek to secure the power of the few by nullifying the democratic will of the people, whether on the front end through gerrymandering, voter suppression and the flow of big money, or on the back end through lame-duck sessions aimed at overriding the outcomes of an election.

The actions of Republican leaders will make for a less responsive government that will undermine the voice of the people. Demos will continue to fight these anti-democratic efforts by standing up to power-grabbing officials and standing up for an inclusive democracy.