Bruce Murphy
Back in the News

Majority Now Backs Fair Redistricting

37 counties, two-thirds of state’s population, have passed “Fair Maps” resolution.

By - Feb 5th, 2018 11:51 am
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Counties that have passed fair maps resolutions (in purple).

Counties that have passed fair maps resolutions (in purple).

Last week the WI Fair Maps Coalition announced that 37 Wisconsin counties have now passed a “Fair Maps Resolution” calling on the legislature to reform the legislative district map-drawing process and put an independent, nonpartisan commission in charge of this.

Those counties represent about two-thirds of the state’s population, the group noted, and more than 70 percent of these counties voted for the Republican candidate for President in 2016. The list of counties passing the resolution span the state: from Douglas and Bayfield counties in the far north to Walworth and Kenosha counties in southeast; from Marinette and Door counties along Lake Michigan, to La Crosse and Vernon counties along the Mississippi River.

Research has shown that Wisconsin is one of the most gerrymandered states in modern history. As currently drawn, the district maps enable Republicans to win a majority of Assembly seats if they get only 45 percent of the statewide vote, as Data Wonk columnist Bruce Thompson has computed.

A federal court ruled in Gill v Whitford that the state’s current legislative district maps are unconstitutional and violate Wisconsin citizens’ rights. That case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has yet to rule on it.

In the meantime a coalition of about a dozen good government groups, including the League of Women Voters, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and Common Cause, have formed the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition, to advocate passage of a resolution demanding that the state adopt a system like Iowa’s, where maps are drawn not by legislators of either party, but by a non-partisan group. For at least two years, this effort has steadily added more counties that have passed the Fair Maps resolution.

“All across Wisconsin, people are demanding the fair drawing of political districts,” declares Renee Gasch of the Citizen Action Northeast Wisconsin Organizing Cooperative. “They are sick and tired of elected officials rigging the system so they can stay in power.”

A poll by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling done last October found a large majority of voters supported non-partisan redistricting. The poll asked: “Do you think the drawing of legislative and congressional district lines should be decided by the legislature and Governor or by an independent non-partisan commission?” Just 16 percent of respondents favored lines being drawn by the governor and legislators, and 63 percent favored it being done by a a non-partisan commission.

The coalition is backing SB 13/AB 44, the bills currently introduced in the legislature to enact nonpartisan redistricting, which call for the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau to work with a bipartisan Redistricting Advisory Commission to create district maps that avoid gerrymandering that would benefit either party.

“No matter how the U.S. Supreme Court rules, it’s up to our elected officials to honor the wishes of the citizens of Wisconsin, and that means adopting a process of nonpartisan map-drawing like they have in Iowa,” says Beverly Speer, Outreach and Advocacy Director for the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

The coalition is also urging the relevant committee chairs, state Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) and Rep. Kathy Bernier (R-Lake Hallie), to hold a public hearing and vote on the bill before the current legislative session ends this spring.

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More about the Gerrymandering of Legislative Districts

23 thoughts on “Back in the News: Majority Now Backs Fair Redistricting”

  1. old baldy says:

    I am proud to say that, as a County Board member, I voted in favor of the Fair Maps Resolution. The resolution passed 27-2. Hopefully our legislators in Madison take heed.

  2. Troll says:

    Where is the out rage for Milwaukee county Supervisor fair maps? This map should be more diverse you stuck all the Caucasians in a few districts. Liberals are racist.

  3. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    This is hilarious, define fair and how are you going to do it.

  4. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Troll: In the Liberal world caucasians are one step above Zombies.

  5. Terry says:

    Career Politician Scott Walker and republicans can’t win a fair fight so they cheat and gerrymander, aka, rig the elections in Wisconsin and change the laws so Billionaires can buy the elections in Wisconsin.
    Don’t republicans know that cheating is not tje same as actually winning? Don’t republicans and Walker know that cheating and stealing elections delegitimizes their own governance?

    Dump Walker 2018

  6. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    funny the state is not gerrymandered. Scott whipped the useless left three times and 4th coming.

  7. Huck L. Berry says:

    “Don’t republicans and Walker know that cheating and stealing elections delegitimizes their own governance?”

    You mean, cheating like how Hillary Clinton and the DNC rigged and stole the primary from Bernie? Or how Donna Brazile gave Hillary debate questions in advance? Or maybe you mean how Hillary and the DNC paid for a falsified dossier that they used to sick the DOJ/FBI and media on President Trump? That kind of cheating? Or maybe you mean how the anti-American Democrats provide driver’s license to illegals in Mexifornia so they can vote without getting caught? Or maybe you mean like how the rapist Bill Clinton met with the racist Loretta Lynch on the tarmac after Hillary deleted 33,000 emails? That kind of cheating?

  8. PMD says:

    I don’t understand the idea that because something is hard, you don’t do it. That makes no sense and is so defeatist. I also don’t know why we wouldn’t strive to have elections that are more fair and require both sides to actually have to campaign and work hard to win. Look at what’s happening in Illinois. Because a district in suburban Chicago is so heavily Democratic, the only GOP candidate is an anti-Semitic white supremacist. The people don’t benefit from all the gerrymandering and the lack of competitive elections. Because it might be hard isn’t a legitimate reason to not try to address this.

  9. mkwagner says:

    WCD, explain to me how Wisconsin is not gerrymandered, when Republicans are able to secure a majority in both state houses yet only receive 45% of the votes cast? If Wisconsin is not gerrymandered, tell me why it is that so many legislatures and senators end up without an opponent when up for re-election? There isn’t a rational explanation. So what we have in Wisconsin is a dictatorship of the minority, who then enact additional laws to further limit the voice of their opponents. Looks like Wisconsin is nothing more than a banana republic.

  10. Terry says:

    @Huck, No, not that. Hillary, Obama or any other person you want to rant about or blame did not gerrymander Wisconsin and destroy Democracy itself in the state. That didn’t happen and they have nothing to do with Career Politician Scott Walker and Wisconsin republican’s gerrymandering and rigging the elections in the state in their favor. See the diffetence? It’s pretty obvious. Sorry but ad hominem attacks and ranting about something completely off-subject and not at all germaine to republican gerrymandrting aka cheating won’t change this FACT.
    @WCD, Republicans didn’t whip anything. They cheated. Republicans and Career Politician Scott Walker gerrymandered the state, rigged the elections and sold the state off to the highest out of state Billionaire bidder.

    Dump Walker 2018!!
    Dump all republican cheaters and schemers in 2018!!

  11. Terry says:

    @mkwagner, correct. WCD nor any republican will not respond to facts when ptesented with them. They will, as Huck has just shown, rant about something completely off-subject, like something Obama or his attorney general did years ago that has nothing to do with republicans rigging elections in Wisconsin.

    Here’s how republican’s partisan gerrymandering has worked in the state for years now. Democrats win 60% of the vote but only get 40% of the legislative seats. Republicans then take a majority in state government, get drunk on their illegitimate power, change the campaign finance laws, sell the state out to the highest billionaire bidders and then proceed to drive the state into the gutter.

    Dump Walker 2018

  12. will says:

    Taxpayers paid millions upon millions to Michael Best law firms to rig elections. Our state is run by outside corporation’s to get our labor cheap and our natural resources for pennies and pollute freely. Foxconn and Bucks arena alone will put raxpayers back almost 5 billion dollars. THE GOP has put Wisconsin in the dark ages like Mississippi. It will take generations to fix this mess.

  13. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Really stupid arguements as the tenth has shown that the only reason GOP has been taking 60 seats is because of year and they’re doing good job. Dems stand fro nothing except higher taxes and anti business.
    Fact is that nothing in Wis is permanent. A gerrymander by the dems from Earl was not and neither will be the next one as Wis changes.

  14. Terry says:

    @WCD, sorry republicans. Your days of lying, cheating and stealing elections are over!

    If Democrats are “anti-business” then why are all the great iconic American companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon etc. ALL located in hardcore progressive Democratic states?!

    Furthermore, Career Politician Scott Walker and Republicans just raised taxes higher than ever before with their FoxCON job fiasco. Now Wisconsin taxpayers are on the hook, for 25 years plus and will be paying $200,000.00 dollars per crappy job for Foxconn. Corporate welfare for a Taiwainese company. Sad! Giving tax cuts to the mega-rich and corporations and sticking it to the middle class and working poor is not pro-business! It’s pro-oligarchy. It’s pro-corporation but not pro-business. That’s why Career Politician Scott Walker’s Wississippi is dead last in new business start ups and dead last in entrepreneurship. Nothing left for republicans to do but raise taxes and give all our money away to a foreign company.

    Dump Walker 2018!
    Dump All republicans 2018!

  15. Huck L. Berry says:

    @Terry

    You’re never equipped with facts though — all you’ve got is your pathological hatred towards conservatives.

    Republicans gerrymander districts by changing lines on a map, whereas Democrats gerrymander districts by forcing wholesale demographic change on conservative neighborhoods in order to permanently destroy them. Same thing is happening on a global scale.

    Scott Walker is the daddy Democrats need right now.

  16. PMD says:

    WCD your argument that Republicans won because they are doing a good job is undermined by the fact that Democrats actually got far more votes than Republicans and only won more seats because of gerrymandering.

  17. Terry says:

    @Huck, nope, wrong. I have plenty of facts. For your information I do not have a pathological hatred of conservatives. I have never voted for a democrat or a republican. I actually vote Independent or Libertarian but I digress…
    Career Politician Scott Walker is a Big Government mooching Nanny State control freak. He got drunk on power and drove the state into the ditch. The only Daddy democrats and republicans need is Grand Daddy Purp!

    Dump Walker 2018! Legalize cannabis instead!

  18. eric J says:

    The legislative elections in Wisconsin remind me of some of the “elections’ in the old soviet block. People go to the polls and go through the motions of voting, but the out come for legislative districts is determined before anyone ever votes.

    I remember when these maps were being drawn up. I believe they were kept in a law firm’s office and they were not allowed to be taken out of the office and only republicans could look at them, after they signed and agreement to keep what they saw quiet. Complete secrecy, what kind of open government is that? Sounds like some third world plan

  19. Terry says:

    @eric J, You nailed it right on the head! Republicans in Wisconsin have always acted like third world despots. They rigged the elections in Wisconsin for a reason! To suppress the Will of the People and STEAL OUR VOTING RIGHTS! Like any despotic regime Republicans can’t actually allow the People to actually vote because if they did, We the People would kick them out of office forever! Career Politician Scott Walker and Repuicans are as corrupt and crooked as they come folks. Walker and Republicans got whiskey-drunk on power and sold the state out to the highest bidder, aka their out of state mega-rich donors. Republicans have put party over Democracy and party over country! These are scary and dangerous times people. Republicans are scared and whiskey-drunk on power and they will do anything to keep it. We can only hope the Supreme Court rules against their rampant corruption of our elections soon!

    Dump Walker 2018
    Dump Trump 2018

  20. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Funny, did you tell that to the Wis voters, like in the tenth?
    Fact is that the left is concentrated in two counties heavily makes it impossible to make them fair, even districts, while the GOP is spread around the state.
    Fact is the last ten years have been GOP runs cause of the corrupt Obama presidency and now things change.
    Wisconsin is close and will always be. Winner comes out of those that talk about working families instead of dopey bathroom issues.

  21. Terry says:

    @WisconsinCuckservativeIndigestion, take your Nazi sympathizing, racist trolling and fascist enabling lies and bullsh#t and beat it. Nobody cares what an old, bitter, racist Trump liar says.

  22. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Teearry you are funny, love to hear the Lefties whine, when they lose, which is all the time with their nutty ideas. Look at who is winning. Trump/Walker team, greatest in history. Cannot blame the redistricting and the /Russkies all the time.

  23. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Finally we are a republic, not a democracy. Your majority could not even define a fair redistricting, how top define it in law and how to get there. and how they would get here. WE have a constitution not an referendum on rule.

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