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WIsconsin: Don’t let politicians kill redistricting bill without a hearing

August 20, 2013

This is a very important issue that all of us should be concerned about. Please read: Gerrymandered districts pose threat to Obama 2014 midterm strategy

Editorial from the Marshfield News Herald.

bildeIn April, state Rep. Mandy Wright, D-Wausau, introduced a bill that would take the job of drawing legislative districts out of the hands of legislators and give it to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The proposal, which is modeled on a system in use in Iowa, would improve Wisconsin’s politics, putting an end to the deplorable spectacle of politicians choosing their voters when it’s supposed to be the other way around.

There are a lot of politicians who would like to see the proposal go nowhere. And that’s exactly what will happen, unless we demand otherwise.

Today, News-Herald Media is participating in a statewide push to keep these proposals from being killed off by politicians who would rather maximize their own political gains than listen to the will of the public. Along with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison’s WISC-TV, the Beloit Daily News, the La Crosse Tribune and others, we at Gannett Central Wisconsin Media are calling on Wisconsin legislators to schedule hearings in the fall session on Assembly Bill 185 and its Senate counterpart, Senate Bill 163.

The public at least deserves a chance to learn more about these proposals.

Blatantly partisan redistricting is an embarrassment if you care about democracy. It also has real and negative effects. Politicians in “safe” districts, liberal or conservative, are driven to take extreme positions that appeal to their base rather than to the less ideologically driven median voter.

Here’s the principle: We are better when we’re open to arguments we do not agree with. We are better when we compromise and find common ground. Our political system should reflect that. But Wisconsin’s system of redistricting fosters the opposite values: closed-mindedness, wagon-circling and above all, partisanship.

We’re better than that. But it will take outside pressure to get things to change. Our politicians have proven that they’re not going to do it on their own.

Call your state legislators. Email them. Show up at their offices. Ask them to support a change to the broken status quo.

Also read: Gerrymandered districts pose threat to Obama 2014 midterm strategy

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From → Commentary

2 Comments
  1. jerry person permalink

    Scott Walker remembers creating jobs as assemblyman in Wisconsin . It was easy with ALEC. 32000 UNION public sector jobs. It is not as easy this time with out using your tax dollars. Scott Walker has created ALL Wisconsin`s budget problems working for ALEC. In 1997 Walker and Prosser as state assemblymen championed for ALEC with truth in sentencing telling the legislatures it would not cost a dime it was to give judges not parole boards the control over sentencing. Then Walker filibustered to stop sentencing changes after the fact misleading ALL the legislatures. With out the sentencing changes Wisconsin`s prisons quadrupled over night. Most people sentenced to 2 years now had to serve as much as 6o years. As the Wisconsin Budget watch Blog shows . Stopping just a percentage of these long sentences Wisconsin would save 707 million per year. Wisconsin could have free tuition colleges. It shows Wisconsin has wasted 200 billion if you add the numbers to the state budget since 1997. Not including the building new or remodeling of 71 courthouses & 71 county jails & 273 police stations and dozens of prisons 28 billion plus interest. The total is over 70 BILLION plus the 100 Billion spent by social services to support prisoners families because the bread winner was a political prisoner as US Att gen Eric Holder explained. Then farming out prisoners in several states until the courts realized it was not allowed in the Wisconsin constitution. Wisconsin then hired 32000 union public sector workers to fill the jobs housing the prisoners from deputies , judges, district attorneys all owe Walker for creating there jobs. 32000 UNION PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS. This cost taxpayers over 3.8 billion or a half million per day to house these EXTRA prisoners per day in Milwaukee county alone. Wisconsin claims it has 24,000 prisoners compared to Minnesota`s 5500. Wisconsin`s corrections population is 104,000 with over 28,000 prisons in Milwaukee county alone . In 1995 Milwakee county had less than 1000 prisoners . Is Scott Walker moving Wisconsin forward ? This your reason for budget problems in Wisconsin. Big spender big government Scott Walker. Why does he not work for the people he is taking his check from the people ?
    Wisconsin Budget watch blog has a great article on this.

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