Michigan Republicans, following the tactics of conservative lawmakers in Wisconsin, moved on Thursday to start limiting the power of the incoming Democratic secretary of state and set the stage for additional curbs on the Democrats who will take over as governor and attorney general in January.
The G.O.P. led State Senate in Michigan, voting largely along party lines, passed a bill that strips the incoming secretary of state of the authority to oversee campaign finance issues and hands it to a new bipartisan commission. Other bills, which are likely to be approved next week, include proposals that would weaken the ability of the governor and attorney general to control the state’s position in court cases.
Using a similar political playbook as their counterparts in Wisconsin this week, Michigan Republicans are responding to their Election Day chastening in top statewide races by trying to curb the power of leaders from the opposing party. The move has alarmed ethics watchdogs, who have called it a power grab, and has fueled protests among Democrats. But it is unclear if Republicans would pay a political price, given that many are in safe districts.
A major difference between Wisconsin and Michigan, however, may be their Republican governors.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker, who was denied a third term in November, is now weighing the bills to limit his successor, Tony Evers; Mr. Walker has not indicated how he will act, but he has worked in concert for years with Republican legislative leaders there.