July 9, 2011

"Republicans unveiled a plan Friday to redraw the state's 132 legislative seats just before a wave of recall elections this summer...."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
A quick vote would allow GOP lawmakers to approve the maps and lock down advantages for themselves at the ballot box for the next 10 years by drawing district lines in their favor. Republicans' schedule would allow them to sign off on maps to their liking even if they lose control of the Senate in the coming weeks....
Scott Fitzgerald spokesman Andrew Welhouse said Republicans would seek to pass separate legislation allowing the legislative and congressional maps to be redrawn before local municipalities finish drawing ward lines. Currently, state law requires the ward lines to be drawn first, which would mean that lawmakers would have to wait until long after the recall elections to pass a redistricting plan.
And wouldn't some of those municipalities drag out the process in order to give the Democrats more time to try to affect the line-drawing? The Democrats have shown their willingness to use whatever they can to have their way, so I can't see the argument against the Republicans changing that law about the sequencing to get what they want.
Democrats said two Democrats challenging Republican senators in recall elections - Rep. Fred Clark of Baraboo and former Brown County Executive Nancy Nusbaum - were drawn out of the districts they are seeking. That would mean if they won this summer's recall elections, they could serve briefly but would then have to move or run in a different district in November 2012.
Sounds like hardball politics, though the Republicans aren't admitting that. Assuming it is, I'm not bothered, because I think the Democrats would do the same if they were in that position. They use the techniques that are available to them (such as, here, litigating). Efforts to cry "shame" over this ring hollow to me.

37 comments:

David said...

If true, hard to achieve. There are a zillion ways to delay this. (Exhibit A: Judge Sumi)

TosaGuy said...

I guess the WI Dems should have considered this before they lost in every way imaginable in Nov 2010.

To quote somebody those folks might support....."I won"

edutcher said...

This is the advantage of being the majority party. The Demos have used this tactic in various guises for years, including court decisions.

Now they get to see how it feels.

WV "dunme" What usually comes between she and wrong.

blake said...

"How dare they try to do to us what we've been doing to them for decades!"

Shouting Thomas said...

The Democrats have shown their willingness to use whatever they can to have their way, so I can't see the argument against the Republicans changing that law about the sequencing to get what they want.

Ditto!

traditionalguy said...
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traditionalguy said...

After Tecumseh Sherman left Georgia the Reconstruction Era has gone on and on, and left us with a Voting Rights Act, that has never been applied in Wisconsin.

So Scott Walker has a free hand to do what northern States have done for 220 years.

Will the Dems try to put Wisconsin under the Voting Rights Law to save their hides?

Michael K said...

I say they deserve all they get after the past six months.

roesch-voltaire said...

I checked the state history of redrawing the voting districts and could find no example of the Dems doing the same thing on such a wide scale. Do we really want a one party rule in this state, I think not.

KenK said...

In times past I'd call this pretty shady, but times have changed. Go for it Reps.

Shouting Thomas said...

I checked the state history of redrawing the voting districts and could find no example of the Dems doing the same thing on such a wide scale. Do we really want a one party rule in this state, I think not.

I think you just dramatically, and deliberately, misinterpreted Althouse's remark.

I took her remark to be about the totality of Democratic actions, including fleeing the state to avoid a vote and to attempt to nullify the results of an election.

I can see why you would want to narrow down the issue to only the re-districting. Convenient!

kimsch said...

Illinois dems have just done what Wisconsin dems are acusing the reps of doing. Under the new mapping my current district moves south, out of the current district altogether. I'm put in a new district and the rest of my old dist goes to another district. The current fed 8 will be split btwn 10 and 17 or 14. All currently held by reps.

Wv. Pralli - illinois will pralli lose one republican congressional representative under the new map.

Big Mike said...

Efforts to cry "shame" over this ring hollow to me.

You're learning, ma'am. You're learning.

Big Mike said...

@roesch-voltaire, Wisconsin had had one-party government for over 50 years. Welcome to two party government.

John Smith said...

Talk about unintended consequences.
The Democrats abuse of the recall provision in Wisconsin has resulted in focusing and driving the Republicans to pass as much of their agenda as they possibly can, as quickly as they can with little or no intra-party squabbling. Once passed these laws will remain in effect until Democrats control the Wisconsin Assembly, Senate and Governorship.

William said...

The JS article said that "a lawsuit has already been filed over redistricting, meaning a federal court could still weigh in on the process."

I'm from South Carolina where there is ALWAYS a racial motive behind any redistricting, and the Feds always weigh in. ANybody care to guess on what grounds the federal court could get involved (assuming the populations of the new districts are approximately equal).

rhhardin said...

A mathematical rule about boundaries ought to be simple to come up with that would make gerrymandering much less useful to a politician.

Think of what the requirement that a district boundary consist of four straight sides with the shortest side no shorter than half the longest side might do.

You can tune it but it's hard to fine-tune it. The payoff is not much better than a sensible district.

Curious George said...

"Think of what the requirement that a district boundary consist of four straight sides with the shortest side no shorter than half the longest side might do."

That would only be possible in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

Alex said...

Good - it's time for the GOP to play hardball with the donks. Show 'em the Wisconsin way.

Carol_Herman said...

THIS IS THE WAY YOU PLAY THE GAME!

I didn't write these rules.

These ARE the rules!

And, it's a good thing the stupid party is finally figuring out what to do when they're elected to majorities.

Do this often enough and Nancy Pelosi will have a heart attack!

Carol_Herman said...

It's not a bug. It's a feature!

And, Jetter just knocked another two out of the ballpark. He hit 3,000.

Nice to see when somebody comes to bat and "knows how to play the game."

Dad29 said...

Some damn fool will file a Federal suit claiming that the redistricting affects their Freedom of Speech.

The (D)s are better advised simply to take the 5th.

Paddy O said...

This is what democracy looks like.

Meade said...

"Do we really want a one party rule in this state, I think not."

I agree. So what is wrong with Wisconsin Democrats? Did they dope themselves on Obama hope and change?

The unionists were even warned by one of their top scholars, back in March.

The Left will now split between those calling for a general strike and Democrats who don't in fact want to hurt the people of Wisconsin... most of all themselves.

gadfly said...

The party in power enjoys the spoils of the census and the redistricting that follows. It happens in every state and the Dems rolled over the GOP in the 2008 election but promptly made themselves unpopular by refusing to share power. What goes around, comes goes around ... so it must be Karma.

Saint Croix said...

It's stuff like this that makes me mad about "one man, one vote."

It's a wonderful bumper sticker. Who could be against "one man, one vote"? It sounds like your opponents are in favor of one man having many votes.

But what they're really saying is that every district in a state has to have the same proportion of people. Which means that every district has to be redrawn all the time. And politicians of both parties are going to gerrymander those districts in order to keep themselves in power.

Honestly, it annoys the crap out of me. IIRC, the state involved in the very first case had simple districts based on county lines. Similar to our own United States. Some were bigger than others. So what? And to say such a plan is unconstitutional while you quote a bumper sticker and bring in massive gerrymandering marks the people who did this (including my favorite Justice, Hugo Black) as nitwits.

I would frickin' applaud if the Supreme Court would use the "republican form of government" clause to outlaw the gerrymander.

Parklake guy said...

Dane county dems can gerrymander to their hearts content=Good!
Wisconsin Repubs try that on state=Bad!
Now I get it!

Milwaukee said...

The Voting Rights Act requires states to have "minority-majority" congressional districts. Gerrymandering is now legal and required. Looks like Gwen Moore's District becomes more Democratic. Good. No point in wasting any Republican votes there.

The Milwaukee Aldermanic redistricting will have two strongly Latino districts. What's the problem? Yes, Democrats would do this, or worse, to Republicans in a heart beat.

purplepenquin said...

So if someone else MIGHT do something unethical/wrong, you don't think anyone else should call the actual wrongdoers out on it?

Thanks for sharing that viewpoint. It helps me better understand your the opinions you share on this blog, as well as give much insight about you as a person...

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

purple, it's not "MIGHT do", it's "HAVE done". The Democrats have used every procedural trick they can find -- including abandoning their offices and frivolous recalls -- to deny the majority the chance to govern. Ergo, procedural tricks are fair game. And as tricks go, this isn't really a trick at all: it's simply doing their constitutionally mandated job on an accelerated schedule. Setting the legislative calendar is also part of their constitutionally mandated job, so there's no trick at all.

Milwaukee said...

Purplepelican:
You should address your character assessments to a specific person. To do otherwise is craven. Besides, we might think you are talking to yourself. Which tells a lot about you, and your level of smugocity.

I can't say that I think there is anything particularly unethical or wrong with the Republican re-districting plan. That some might be out of their district after it comes into effect happens all the time, and can't always be avoided. They do have to deal with the Voting Rights Act. Had they re-disticted so that Wisconsin did not have a Black Representative, then they most definitely would be in trouble.

purplepenquin said...
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blake said...

You heard purple! No more bitching! Just get on the bus and ride quietly to your camps! It's all fair game now!

Milwaukee said...

I'm sorry, but are you being deliberately vague or obtuse? Please identify for me the "two wrongs I'm saying make a right". The Legislature is required to redraw boundaries every 10 years. That those are drawn to favor the party in power isn't a wrong. When we voted last November, we knew that was something which was at stake. You did notice that Wisconsin was one of the few states which flipped entirely, going from Democratically controlled House, Senate and Governor to Republican control in all three places? Doesn't that mean anything? Don't elections have consequences? Is Purple suggesting we violate the Voting Rights Act? That act requires gerrymandering. It is not optional.

In the process of re-districting, things like people being "re-districted" out of their district happen. Avoiding that would require even more gerrymandering.

What exactly are the wrongs you are seeing? The Republicans are doing their duty: They are staying at their desks and passing legislation which is required of them. Are you expecting the Republicans to devise a plan with favors Democrats? Or one that is "neutral", whatever that would be? If most of the state likes Republicans, then a plan that favors the Republicans is what the state wants. Isn't that democracy? Whose house are you sitting in? Does somebody need to form a drum circle around you?

commoncents said...

THANK YOU for posting this . We always learn something when we visit your blog!

Steve
Common Cents
http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

Lance said...

The Democrats have shown their willingness to use whatever they can to have their way, so I can't see the argument against the Republicans changing that law about the sequencing to get what they want.

Fitzgerald and his Senate colleagues fled the state over the budget deal, why aren't they heading for the border now? Because they think their allies will stall for them? Or because the collective-bargaining issue in the budget was politically more important to them?

Milwaukee said...

I think the reason they aren't fleeing now is that the budget repair bill required a quorum of 20 senators, but this sequencing bill only requires a quorum of 19, which the Republicans have. While it is a change, it shouldn't be that big of a deal. One or the other needs to go first, and it would be better to have all of one done before the other begins. When the Democrats had huge majorities in both chambers and the Governorship, they didn't mind ramming crap through to the liking of their allies. Now they whine.

Churchill's comments about the Treaty of Versailles come to mind. The Republicans are responding to how the Democrats treated them when when the Democrats had the upper hand. But the Republicans didn't whine as much, or have the support of the media. It's important to be nice to people on your way up the ladder because you might see them again on your way down.