Data Wonk

Can New Approach End Gerrymandering?

“Efficiency model” goes before courts. It has a chance.

By - Jan 6th, 2016 03:36 pm
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The challenge to Wisconsin’s partisan legislative districts recently survived its first hurdle. A three-judge federal panel rejected motions from Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel to throw out the lawsuit on several grounds, including lack of standing on the part of the plaintiffs and the assertion that the US Supreme Court has already rejected their claims.

While the decision itself was largely about process, the three federal judges proved remarkably clear eyed. Schimel argued that Democrats fared poorly because they cluster in cities:

Democratic supporters are concentrated in specific locations such that they naturally are “packed” into districts drawn using ordinary districting principles.

The judges did not buy this argument, instead describing how Republicans set out to gerrymander the legislative districts:

In January 2011, Scott Fitzgerald, Republican member of the Wisconsin State Senate and Senate Majority Leader, and Jeff Fitzgerald, Republican member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and Speaker of the Assembly, hired lawyer Eric McLeod and the law firm of Michael, Best & Friedrich, LLP, to assist with the reapportionment of the state legislative districts after the 2010 Census. The intent of the speaker and majority leader was to design a pro-Republican partisan gerrymander. To accomplish this goal, the firm supervised the work of legislative aides in planning, drafting and negotiating Wisconsin Act 43, which contains the 2012 Assembly districting plan.

The law firm and the aides used past election results to measure the partisanship of the electorate and to design districts that would maximize the number of districts that would elect a Republican and minimize the number of districts that would elect a Democrat. This would be accomplished in two ways, by “cracking” or “packing.” Cracking means dividing a party’s supporters among multiple districts so that they fall short of a majority in each one. Packing means concentrating one party’s backers in a few districts that they win by overwhelming margins. Both cracking and packing result in “wasted” votes, that is, votes cast either for a losing candidate (in the case of cracking) or for a winning candidate but in excess of what he or she needed to prevail (in the case of packing).

The firm and the aides received assistance from Dr. Ronald Keith Gaddie, a professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma. Gaddie created a model that analyzed the expected partisan performance of all of the districts established by Act 43. Gaddie’s model forecast that the Assembly plan would have a pro-Republican “efficiency gap” of 12 percent. The efficiency gap is the difference between the parties’ respective wasted votes in an election, divided by the total number of votes cast.

The judges then go on to describe the secrecy the legislative leaders imposed while the redistricting plan was developed—Republican legislators were allowed to view only the portion that concerned their districts, and Democrats were not allowed to see any of it. Act 43, the law that incorporated the Republican redistricting plan, was passed a week after it was released to the public.

The effectiveness of the cracking and packing strategy is demonstrated by the 2012 election, where Democrats received 51.6 percent of the state-wide Assembly vote, but had a majority in only 39 of the 99 districts.

Wisconsin Assembly Districts

Wisconsin Assembly Districts

The chart on the right shows the classic signs of the packing and cracking strategy. The red bars show districts with a majority of Republican voters; in blue districts the majority is Democratic.

Many of the Democrat-majority districts have very high percentages of Democrats—the “packed” districts. Eleven Wisconsin districts have over 80 percent Democrats while none have over 80 percent Republicans. 30 of the 39 majority Democratic districts are over 60 percent Democratic.

By comparison, there are 39 districts where the Republican majority is less than 60 percent. That includes 26 districts where the Republican majority is between 55 and 60 percent, putting them safely out of reach of Democrats.

Current Districting

Current Districting

Another way of viewing the same data is through cumulative percentages. The next chart compares the actual distribution of districts (blue dots) compared to a normal cumulative distribution (red line), with the same mean and standard deviation as the actual values. The bulge just short of 50 percent shows districts from which Democrats were removed (cracked) and packed into high Democratic districts, converting these districts from majority Democratic to majority Republican. There are far fewer heavily Republican districts than one might expect and many more heavily Democratic districts.

Revised Districts

Revised Districts

By way of comparison, the next graph shows a similar distribution for an alternate redistricting developed using Auto-Redistrict program described in a previous Urban Milwaukee article. Here the actual distribution of districts follows quite closely a normal distribution. Although this distribution shows a slight Republican bias (perhaps due to the natural packing Schimel referred to or the slight Democratic majority in the 2012 election), it has none of the bulges of the actual distribution.

The lawsuit brought against Wisconsin proposes that the courts look at “wasted votes.” This concept was developed by several political scientists who have studied election results.

Under this theory there are two kinds of wasted votes: votes spent on a losing candidate and votes that are more than needed for a candidate to win. It is not possible to get rid of wasted votes; in a race with two candidates half the votes will be wasted. Rather, the theory says that the party with more wasted votes is placed at a competitive disadvantage. This leads to the concept of an “efficiency gap,” defined as the difference between the parties’ respective wasted votes in an election, divided by the total number of votes cast.

While the aim of reformers is to design districts with a small efficiency gap, the aim of the consultant hired by the Republican leadership, the University of Oklahoma professor, was to make it as large as possible. According to the court, his “model forecast that the Assembly plan would have a pro-Republican “efficiency gap” of 12 percent.” It is ironic that a concept developed by political scientists to make elections fairer, was used to lock in one party’s advantage.

Since the aim in developing Act 43 was to inflate the efficiency gap in favor of Republicans, it is to be expected that any alternative plan would reduce the efficiency gap. For example, even when the “fairness” settings on Auto-Redistrict were turned off, the resulting district plan had half the efficiency gap of the current districts in Wisconsin. Districts with Democratic majorities increased from 39 to 47 using Auto Redistrict. While this would still leave Democrats in the minority even after winning a majority of the vote, it would have put them within striking distance of a majority.

Adding in fairness criteria, a new set of districts were generated. While still favoring Republicans the efficiency gap dropped to 2.7 percent with 51 seats with a Democratic majority. Thus almost any change would make the Wisconsin legislature more democratic and more Democratic.

Two of the three members of the panel of judges were appointed by Republican presidents. Despite this, it’s clear that they are not enamored of Act 43:

In 2012, the current plan produced a pro-Republican efficiency gap of 13 percent. In 2014, it was 10 percent. The 2012 figure represents the 28th largest score in modern American history (out of nearly 800 total plans), placing the current plan in the most partisan 4 percent of this distribution, more than two standard deviations from the mean. This historical data suggests that there is close to a zero percent chance that the current plan’s efficiency gap will ever favor the Democrats during the remainder of the decade. Prior to the current cycle, not a single plan in the country had efficiency gaps as high as the current plan’s in the first two elections after redistricting.

As the above paragraph makes clear, the efficiency gap can vary somewhat from one year to another, depending on turnout. 2014 was a low-turnout year for Democrats compared to 2012. It is likely that the gap declined because fewer Democratic votes led to fewer wasted Democratic votes in heavily Democratic districts.

Another decision to make is how to handle those heavily skewed districts in which one party does not bother to run a candidate. One solution would be to base the calculation on voter distribution in statewide races, where every vote has the same weight no matter where it is cast. All these issues are solvable if the courts are willing to tackle the gerrymandering problem.

What happens next? Federal law requires that a “district court of three judges shall be convened …  when an action is filed challenging the constitutionality … of the apportionment of any statewide legislative body.” Another section states that “…any party may appeal to the Supreme Court from an order granting or denying, after notice and hearing, an interlocutory or permanent injunction in any civil action, suit or proceeding required by any Act of Congress to be heard and determined by a district court of three judges.” Thus it appears virtually certain that, whatever the three judges decide, the losers will appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has been reluctant to take on gerrymandering cases, in part because of fears that there is not a clear standard of how much gerrymandering is too much. Because of the blatant partisanship of the Wisconsin redistricting, it is hard to imagine any limit upon gerrymandering if the current redistricting plan is upheld. Both parties will be encouraged to maximize gerrymandering when they hold power, and the losers will be the voters — be they Democrat, Republican or independent.

Categories: Data Wonk, Politics

63 thoughts on “Data Wonk: Can New Approach End Gerrymandering?”

  1. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Sure and pigs will fly . Need amendment.
    Why did nt’ everyone call for this when Tony Earl redid the reapportionment after the judges had done it in 1981? Tony redid it in 1983, only the LWVoters cried out foul. Left thought it was great.

  2. Vincent Hanna says:

    Yeah come on old people where were you in 1981??!! Get it together.

  3. SteveM says:

    So, WCD, instead of making improvements we will continue to out do each other? It appears that the spending spree race has always been won by fiscal “conservatives.”

  4. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Only fair way to redistrict is if Jesus would come down again and do it. Otherwise lets wait till it is the Left’s time to do it, to be fair. The Left stops at nothing to win elections then when the Conservtives fight back, all we hear is whining, which I love to hear.

  5. blurondo says:

    It’s time to make the state legislature a part-time job again thus eliminating one of the motivating factors behind gerrymandering. New Hampshire pays their representatives $200/two year term. No per diem is paid.

  6. Doug Swanson says:

    It was a perfect dichotomy in 2012. Dems in Wisconsin screaming about the unfair redistricting here and Reps screaming in Illinois about the redistricting there. It won’t change as long as the children (and really aren’t they all arrogant, self centered children?) are allowed to make their own rules. WCD is right that an amendment is probably needed. But given that the party in power has to make that happen, D or R it’s not going to. Unless one side or the other actually grows up and acts in the best interests of all of the PEOPLE they represent we’ll continue to see more of the same. Unfortunately.

  7. We had Sachin Chheda and Peter Earle on “The Kathleen Dunn Show” Wednesday to discuss the lawsuit. Towards the end of the show, City of Milwaukee programmer Kevin Baas discussed his computer program “Auto-Redistrict.” It was a good hour. You can listen here:

  8. Dennis Grzezinski says:

    Bruce: As usual, a thoughtful and detailed analysis of an important issue.

  9. Kevin Baas says:

    Yes, excellent article Bruce! And I couldn’t agree more – the real test will be in the U.S. Supreme Court, which is 50% corrupt. And if they don’t strike down the map, then their goes our voting rights — their goes our democracy — third world here we come.

    And SteveM that’s not even counting the legal fees so far. The court battle has cost over 2 million so far. So this crappy map has already cost over 4 million dollars. And you’re the one paying for it (well, we all are.). In contrast, Bruce just made not one, but TWO maps that are demonstrably way more fair — and they’re free!

  10. Just because Democrats tried to skew redistricting in their favor in the past, does not invalidate the need for reform of the system. Let us start with a publicly avalible and reviewable algorithm, which would be vastly superior, even if imperfect, then the current political process.

  11. Bruce Murphy says:

    From my column, “The Most Gerrymandered State In America,”:

    As for the idea that Wisconsin’s Republicans are only doing what Democrats before them did, that couldn’t be more untrue. The state’s highest Democratic efficiency gap was 2 percent in 1994. The current Republican gap is five times higher than that and was seven times higher in 2012, when there was a higher turnout for the presidential year.

    That’s not because of Democratic purity; the party simply never held all power. A split legislature drew the lines in 1971, and disagreements between the parties led to the courts making the decisions in 1981, 1991 and 2001. The result in all four cases was redistricting that had little or no edge for either party.

  12. SteveMars says:

    The fact that the 13% was for the HIGH turnout election is doubly treacherous since it really kicks in when Rebublicans most need it.
    Ultimately a model that doesn’t require you to SELL your house and MOVE in order for your vote to count must be a constitutional right. Thankfully we don’t need Jesus, just a competent statistician to build a fair model.
    Great article Bruce! (I am not SteveM by the way….)

  13. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Bruce, be honest for once. You picked 1994 when courts did it, take it in 1985 after Tony Earl did it. I have never thought of you as poney but now?

  14. Bruce Murphy says:

    WCD, have no idea what you’re talking about. As far as I know, the courts did the final redistricting after 1980. You first claimed Gov. Earl did in 1983, now say 1985, and never explain how a governor could overrule both the courts and legislature in the middle of the decade to do his own redistricting.

    should you provide some documentation, I’d be happy to revisit this.

  15. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Bruce, do your homework once in a while check with Ref. bureau. Courts did it in 1980, then after 1982 Tony took the governors job and the legislature and redid it, not illegal it can be redone anytime if you want. No law against that. We challenged, tony said he just did it to straighten out some lines,, Ha ha, gave them control till 1994 when we took over Assembly.
    Call Tommy and ask him. or bill Kurtz
    I am not baby sitter cause you do not know your history, or your facts.

  16. Bruce Murphy says:

    okay, so now your story is not that Gov Earl did it, but Earl and the legislature redid the districting done by the courts.

    I did research this, didn’t find it, as noted happy to revisit if you can document your shifting memory of this.

  17. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Poor job.

  18. happyjack says:

    No need to revisit, Bruce. His claim is impossible. WCD said “not illegal it can be redone anytime if you want. No law against that.” This is categorically false. The Wisconsin Constitution explicitly prohibits mid-decade redistricting (article 4, section 3). This was reaffirmed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 1954, Smith v. Zimmerman.

  19. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Well Bruce, I just sent you email from Tommy confirming that, and Rpb Hutton is geting all the details. You kids really should do your homework once in awhile.
    You better go back and arrest Tpny, if he did something illegal. i believe we challenged it, but cannot say that for sure. Did remember what Tony and the LWV said at that time.

  20. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Happy Jack does not Know how to read, same as all the school kids taught by lefties in state. Articlel 4 sec. 3 says that they “shall” apportion after teh census but does not say they cannot at any other time. i know we put up big fuss but left just laughed at us.
    Tony set the precedent so we re just following that.

    Bruce, apology accepted. Accuracy counts, it I say it it is so, Never forget.

  21. Happy jack says:

    WCD, see also the court case I referenced. The decision is available free online.

    Seems like you’re the one who needs to do more research.

  22. Bruce Murphy says:

    Bob, you’re charming, but the email you sent from former Gov. Tommy Thompson says he “can’t remember the details” but he thinks Gov. Earl changed more than “a few lines” of some districts while you prodded Tommy with your recollection that Earl changed the lines of “six” assembly districts. There are 99 assembly districts and 33 senate districts in the state, not to mention congressional districts, etc., so that’s obviously not a redistricting of the state. Also, recall your original contention was that Democrats gerrymandered just as Republicans did, whereas the historical analysis I quoted concluded Dems never had more than a 2% advantage compared to 12% achieved by today’s Republicans.

  23. happyjack27 says:

    My first thoughts on that, besides it actually is illegal (see Smith v Zimmerman), is that if true, well it was certainly poor decision making on the governer’s part. But it does not contradict anything that Bruce said, and it was probably thrown out for being frivolous. This maps are really high resolution and it’s very easy to have for example a single low population neighborhood not in any district at all, which is obviously a mistake. Not saying that’s the case here. But my next thought is I really don’t see where you’re going with this – all you can show is that gerrymandering is a problem. We all agree on that. We all want to make it better so that everyone’s voice is heard. All you can do on this train of thought is substantiate that. The core issue is that we all should have a voice – not just legislature, or governers, as it were.

  24. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    I luv it when the left whines and then grovels.
    Fact is that the lines changed made 6 districts solid dem and gave them control for 10 more years. The lines also helped several senate districts giving them control till 1994.
    Since you cannot do the necessary research, takes you kids a while to figure these thingss out, I am having Rob Hutton doing the bill numbers and will get back to you.
    Happy jack learn to read constitutions. While foot in mouth, chew off some nails.
    Check it out at 1985 the analysis. Have soemone that studied math double check.

  25. Bruce Murphy says:

    Ok, so to update you believe you can get me such actual data. That would be lovely. Meanwhile, I’ve been fanning myself with all the hot air and saving on heat bills.

  26. Wis. Conservative Digest says:

    I feel compelled to give all the Lefties, mostly uneducated on this site, except for opinions, a lesson in research.

    My Dad always said to engage brain before mouth. I do that, have written thousands of articles, no one has ever challenged my veracity. and got it right.

  27. I know I need to parse my words more carefully. The Democrats, nor the Progressives nor Socialist in the past, where never as manipulative nor ever defiled the concept of one-man-one-vote to the extremes exhibited by the current Republicans.

    The Republican, in their minds, view Democratic Party attempts at controlling the process as a justification for their well-plotted gerrymandering hat trick. Like when Republicans defended Nixon’s abuse of power by talking about Kennedy’s win in Chicago, or LBJ’s taping system.

    Perhaps I am wrong, but I had the impression that the Democratic Party had the chance to push for a non-partisan redistricting commission and held on to the idea of the Legislature holding on to the process, thinking they would have a majority after the 2000 census.

    The problem is that partisans get all ginned up about mild forms of misconduct as an internalized justification of a more vicious form of retaliatory misconduct. The Republican Party specifically has so distorted and twisted the Wisconsin political system as to make it difficult to restore the best aspects of the former system.

    At some point, the pendulum will swing in the other direction. It is important to put in place level-headed reforms that will prevent a single party or ideology from stomping on the rights of the minority, or trying to make permanent unchecked single party rule.

  28. Wis. Conservative Digest says:

    Joe, you guys are so funny and so naive with obama doing all the stuff he is doing. Gaylord let the public unions form after Meany said they should not be unionized. We learned from the left, read Alinsky, COPE campaign book.
    They are good teachers. Tony Earl taught us redistricting, after the judges did it 3 years later he did, it preserved power for them for ten years, setting a precedent that we had to follow.
    We never forget. never heard all of these whines from the Left then???

  29. @WCD You chatting at me? Your thinking is so binary. I am not a blind defender of constitutional or human rights abuses by either major political party or their President or Governor. I don’t know who you are referring to with “you guys” perhaps you mean people who think for themselves though we seem to be an oppresses minority in this state. I note your reply is a perfect example of tit for tat partisanship therein supporting the core of my argument.

    You/me, them/they liberal/conservative – It is our State – not your State. You are part of us as long as you and I remain in this state, and I am not leaving.

  30. Bruce Thompson says:

    Back in 2012 Christian Schneider had a blog post in which he claimed that Tony Earl modified the districts to give Democrats and advantage.(

    If so, the effort was pretty incompetent. A study of Wisconsin efficiency gaps going back to 1970 finds gaps favoring Dems around 1% in the late d1970s, compared to gaps favoring Reps of 10% to 14% in the last two elections.

  31. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Ineffective, it gave them the Assembly for 10 more ye
    ars till 1994. Dems set precedent that the GOP had to follow.

  32. Kevin Baas says:

    According to the legal documents filed in Whitford V Nichols (the result of a LOT of research by Universities), “In the 1970s, the Assembly plan had an average efficiency gap close to zero. In both the 1980s and the 1990s, it had an average pro-Republican gap of 2 percent. The Republican advantage deepened in the 2000s to an average gap of 8 percent. Under the current plan, the average gap is 11 percent.”

  33. @Kevin Baas Please, do not confuse the ideological rigid with data. The concept of a fair and justice based democracy is obscured from them by their world view. My view is that our American exceptionalism comes out of the ideas incorporated in FDR’s four freedoms, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They (and the “they” exist in both the Democratic and Republican Party) prefer oligarchy over democracy, they prefer military power over international law, they think that just because they fly an American flag that torture, injustice, and shoving aside all international conventions, as well as the bill of rights, is justified. Injustice should never be tolerated be it by any political party. Governments are not judged historically by their ideological end goals, they are judged by their deed. The current gang that runs Wisconsin subvert the varying base of this democratic republic. They have turned back our social, economic, ecological, and human rights progress more than 120 years.

  34. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Walker haters are so full of crap, it is the Left that screwed up Wisconsin and Milwaukee, has crime wave, MPS kids cannot read, highest poverty, worst schools, Milwaukee County govt. a national embarrassment, 57% kids unemployed, human trafficinng, heroin/fentanyl epidemic/deaths, corrupt govt., bad roads and on and on. Still they put their money into trolleys and billionaire basketball players. Give us all a break! The white, male, liberal, racists that run Milwaukee are disaster , Joe.

  35. @WCD – Are you a nonwhite, female, feminist? Do you live in Milwaukee? What specific policies do you think caused this calamity? Give us solutions, please. No real forward progress was made in Milwaukee when Scott Walker was County Executive. The State has been sliding backwards under his stewardship as Governor. BTW – If you have not noticed I am not part of the political establishment that you’re ranting against. I ran against Walker and the Democratic Party establishment’s candidate Riemer in 2004. I talked about central city jobs quite a bit then … not seen them yet from either major party.

  36. Kevin Baas says:

    I just noticed: “(perhaps due to the natural packing Schimel referred to or the slight Democratic majority in the 2012 election)”, particularly the second part. I majority in one election wouldn’t lead to that slight republican bias. The seats-votes curve (which is what’s in those figures – the y axis is % seats) takes care of that automatically. The 51.5% point on the x axis shows what the slight (1.5%) democratic majority in 2012 would have resulted in. The slight republican bias of the curve is, yes, due to the natural packing of dems into cities. The fairness criteria can eliminate most of that natural gerrymandering, but not all of it. It’s why I’m constantly stressing the point that you need to use fairness criteria, and thus vote counts, if you really want to design fair maps. It’s not a debate “oh, maybe it’s better not using the data, maybe it’s better using the data.” no, it’s not a maybe – it is an absolute certainty that it is better to use the data. The only reason people every say don’t use the data is because they’re not aware of the effect. (well, either that or they want to gerrymander repub while pretending to be neutral, but i’m guessing most cases its the former.)

  37. Wis. Conservative Digest says:

    Are you stupid or what. Tommy told Bruce it happened fixed dems in power in Assembly and senate for 10 more years.
    You guys must be part of the “Know nothing stupid is stupid does groups”. Was not thrown out by courts and is not forbidden by the state constitution.
    it was done.

  38. Kevin Baas says:

    I’m told not to waste my time talking to people who don’t listen. But on the flip side I’m told that if you keep on repeating and repeating and repeating and respecting they eventually get it.

    So to repeat: if there was any gerrymandering during the 1980’s – and yeah good point if it was illegal that just makes it worse – my point was that it would have been an open-shut case. If there was gerrymandering by dems in the1980’s, it was a piss-poor job, because the end result actually benefited republicans ( though only slightly.)

  39. Wis. Conservative Digest says:

    Stupid is, stupid sez. do soem research, I tlek to the governor, GOP leader at that time and had him tell that to Bruce. You babble alogn wihtout any knowledge or brains or logci. Incredible.

  40. Kevin Baas says:

    That’s great. Maybe I should ask Tommy Thompson what the efficiency gap was. Shall I?

    Or maybe I should just look at it myself. Cut out the middle man. Done that. I invite you to do the same.

    It averages 2% republican advantage in the period if 1980 to 1990.

    Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

  41. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    I forwarded to Bruce the research which he could not find laying out Tony Earl’s not illegal reapportionment in 1983 to perpetuate the Left in power for ten more years. Since they set that precedent than the GOP had to follow it.
    Bruce is too embarrassed by his incompetence in not finding this inf so he will not post it.

  42. Vincent Hanna says:

    I learned in kindergarten that two wrongs don’t make a right. The idea that something isn’t wrong today because the other party did the same thing 30+ years ago is asinine beyond belief.

  43. Bruce Murphy says:

    WCD, my original comment noted that no previous redistricting resulted in much advantage for the Dems. The highest Democratic efficiency gap was 2 percent in 1994. The current Republican gap is five times higher, 12%, than that and was seven times higher in 2012. You have insisted that Dems were just as bad under Earl. When you can provide any data to demonstrate that I would be happy to publish that. So far nada.

  44. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    sore loser!

  45. RMH says:

    I seriously fail to understand why this website tolerates WCD’s endless trolling. Unlike some of the other right-leaning commenters who actually engage with others, WCD resorts always and immediately to insults and drunken rambling. He renders the comment threads nearly useless.

    I understand that you want this to be an open forum, but this kind of trolling serves only to make the forum all but unmanageable. I think many others who read Urban Milwaukee regularly would agree that he’s far passed the point of earning banning.

  46. old baldy says:


    First, I would like to complement you on your complete adherence to ideology rather than readily available facts. Your traits are what has enabled folks like Limbaugh, Trump and Cruz to become a national embarrassment. The longer you folks have the bully pulpit, the better chance Clinton has of taking the White House. Keep it up.

    Second; on several occasions you have mentioned that you are a PhR. So was my late father, UW 1952. He was a pretty conservative guy and never in my memory voted for a Democrat. But he was a stickler for the facts backed up by provable data and research. Anecdotes were as good as lies, as he would say. So unless you can come up with something that contradicts what has been presented your argument really has no merit. The published data proves you wrong.

  47. siwiscon says:

    RMH and Baldy: Thank you fro the completely incomprehensible babblings. Entertaining, but ignorant. I have had Tommy email Bruce, and the legislature send him all the info about when Tony Earl gerrymandered the legislature in 1983. Since none of you have the capability besides, goofy opinions, of either analyzing or solving problems I appreciate the good laughs. Bruce is unable to publish what I sent him cause he is too embarrassed as he told us that he could not or was incapable of researching this issue.
    As usual I am right. Just one lonely Conservative fighting agaisnt the combined intelligence of the Left on this site.

  48. old baldy says:


    Thank you for proving my point, and that of RMH as well. You have nothing to offer other than insults and name calling. And my golden retriever has better spelling and punctuation skills. You really should brush up on that stuff to be taken seriously.

  49. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    speaking truth is not insulting?? As for spelling and punc, not worth my time for you clowns. If any of you have the ability to research legislation and Bruce does not, then look at 1983 Act 29 published on July 19, 1983.

    For up to date Conservative news: Facebook: Wisconsin Conservative Digest

  50. Bruce Thompson says:


    When and if Democrats regain control of the state government, it sounds like you would support their redistricting with a 10 – 12% efficiency gap in their favor.

  51. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Why would anyone do that? Life is not fair: Jimmy Carter:

  52. happyjack27 says:

    Just a note on the ban for trolling thing. There’s a lot of science on the difference between conservative and liberals, neurologically, behaviorally, and socially. All the empirical data concurs that comparatively conservatives are more sensitive to perceived threats and socially closed, while conversely liberals are more self-reflective and socially accepting.

    Consequently there’s a bit of an asymmetry on the issue of trolling – if banned for trolling, a conservative would be more likely to cry foul and not reflect on their actions, whereas a liberal would more likely say “yeah, I deserved that”, when in fact they did not. Just a difference in the way they process information, which arguably plays a large role in their ideology. But it’s a bit of a chicken or the egg problem.

    Anyways on balance I suspect conservative trolls are tolerated more than liberal trolls. A conservative would be more likely to silence a voice if it deviates from the groupthink, notate how civil it was, whereas a liberal more likely to tolerate difference of opinion, even if it’s just rude insults lacking of substance.

  53. old baldy says:


    So once again you can’t defend your claims, but are quick to call folks names and ridicule. Whatta guy.

  54. Wisconsin Conservative Indigestion says:

    I wish I had looked in on this thread sooner. How entertaining! It’s like you can almost smell the cheap vodka coming from each and every one of WCD’s posts.

  55. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    We drink A&W Root Beer. The people that deny that the left, Tony Earl and co., started this whole mess, in 1983 drink Trump vodka.

  56. Tim says:

    WCD, you said that Republicans gerrymandering was in response to Dems. What caused the WI Republicans to start their earlier attempt at gerrymandering with the Rogan Act in 1953?

    The only variable I can tell, which determines if Republicans will gerrymander, is whether they have the votes to do so.

  57. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    When the dems set the precedent then we are forced to doit too. Send me copies of the letters of protest you all sent to Tony?
    start the constitutional amendment process.

  58. Tim says:

    WCD, when did “dems set the precedent”?

    I’m seeing WI Republicans setting the precedent in 1953. Look it up.

  59. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Amazing, with dems on this site and like Chris lLrson in article in shepherd express, it is all about power. When the Left has it, like in Milwaukee city and county they never solve problems at state, they make them. As long as they have power, they are happy even when kids cannot read, like what was reported to day in the Journal, we have crime wave, heroin epidemic,abandoned houses, fentanyl deaths, 57% youth unemployment, worst poverty, horrible roads and all they do is whine. I am waiting from the white, liberal, male, racists that control Milwaukee to come up with a solution to anything????. That means you too Bruce,.All your columns, except nice one on Grand ave. are just reactionary. Am waiting for just one on the heroin/fentanyl epidemic, abandoned homes, crime wave, failing the kids at MPS. No excuses just some solutions. Darling and Kooyenga came up with one and you guys deep sixed it. Thank God for Tommy.

  60. Vincent Hanna says:

    When you are wrong, just change the subject and call people heartless racists.

  61. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    If it quacks it is probably a duck. You guys here have responsibility to fix things, I work on things like that every day.
    I proved my point but do want to point out that there is far more interest in acquiring and keeping power from the Milwaukee gang, then there is in solving problems. if you solved problems you would be doing apportionment.

  62. Vincent Hanna says:

    Yes because Democrats do things differently than you would, they are all racist. Makes perfect sense. I mean who would read something like post 60 and disagree with anything said. You can just drop the mic and walk away now.

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