Letter to the Editor: ‘Misrepresentative’ Joel Kitchens

On Aug. 6, 2019, Joel Kitchens explained to me and GOP membership present that partisan gerrymandering in drawing Wisconsin’s legislative-district voting maps to perpetually guarantee Republican-party governmental control was being largely overblown in the media and by Democrats and was not the reason for the extremely lopsided GOP legislative majority seated in Madison. 

Kitchens explained that the real reasons for the current GOP majority were that the Democrats didn’t have good candidates and didn’t have good ideas. Following this priceless gem of “Joel-logic” – that presenting good candidates and providing good ideas would produce more Democratic election success in Wisconsin – how has Joel responded legislatively?

Voters in the 1st Assembly District would reasonably expect then that with 2018’s six statewide elections won by Democratic candidates, especially with those victories for Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, Kitchens should be vociferously promoting these “good,” winning Democrats and their “good” ideas. 

Did Joel Kitchens try to convince his GOP colleagues to accept Evers’ original state budget? Did he oppose more public tax money being sent to parochial school-choice vouchers at the expense of local public schools, and is he currently opposing the GOP legislative hired attorneys defending the December 2018 lame-duck legislation that he previously voted in favor of, but that attempts to limit the executive powers of “good candidates,” elected supposedly to bring their good ideas?

Kitchens is not defending the governor’s budgetary veto powers nor defending AG Kaul’s authority to decide state legal matters without Republican legislative interference. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said of the GOP caucus on Oct. 21 (referring to gun control, presumably speaking for Joel), “… we will not entertain proposals that infringe on our constitutional rights …”

With Vos’ tantrum-like declaration, the GOP’s obvious assault on the constitutional separation of powers, our right to fair election maps, separation of church and state, and the public trust doctrine, Joel Kitchens’ failure to even feign respect for his constituents or consider issues motivating clear majorities of state voters decidedly earns him the title “1st Assembly Misrepresentative Kitchens.”

Donald Freix

Fish Creek, Wisconsin