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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Incredible: The Frankenstein Veto.

Jo Egelhoff at Fox Politics takes a closer look at the Governor's line item veto. Jo quotes Mark Gundrum's (R-New Berlin) newsletter:
The only way to understand the Frankenstein Veto is to look at it for yourself. Check out State Senator Sheila Harsdorf’s (R-River Falls) posting of a Journal Sentinel illustration of the Frankenstein veto, used to transfer $427M from the Transportation Fund to the General Fund in the 2005-07 Biennial Budget. (You may have to increase the magnification of your page to read the explanations at the top and lower left of the page.)
Source: – Frankenstein - not in the library, but in the legislature

Now, I suppose many Democratic sympathizers & leftists will complain this is a case of something we enjoyed over the years when a Republican governor was in charge but now do not enjoy when a Democratic governor is in charge. I wonder if any similarly egregious abuses of the veto took place over the Thompson & McCallum administrations?

Still, Jo notes in 1980 the constitution was amended to probibit forming new words by vetoing letters! Hmmm, who was governor back then? Republican Lee Dreyfus. I think the idea should be to establish an atomic legislative unit (ALU) and only whole ALUs may be vetoed. So, this power has been limited in the past.

However, legislative fixes and constitutional amendments while important and needed are material fixes to what is essentially a spiritual problem. Even with the fix I propose, sooner or later some governor who wants to subvert he legislature and a smart lawyer (or who is a smart lawyer) will figure a way to abuse the line item veto again.