Wisconsin State Journal editorial
It’s hard to tell which partisan side is more disingenuous about Wisconsin’s rigged redistricting process.
Top Republicans pretend political gain wasn’t their top priority when drawing new voting district maps last year, based on the 2010 census.
Meantime, Democratic leaders feign shock and outrage at the rigged maps and internal emails confirming the GOP’s true motivations.
As if the Democrats wouldn’t have done the same thing to give their candidates and incumbents unfair advantage had they held on to power. After all, the Democrats failed to reform the remapping process two years ago when they controlled the Legislature, with the once-every-decade task of drawing maps quickly approaching.
Enough with the bad acting. Wisconsin citizens deserve good government instead.
The Legislature should adopt an honorable process that assigns the job of drawing fair maps to a nonpartisan agency or citizen panel, similar to Iowa or California. The neutral body would be tasked to draw districts as compact as possible while respecting regions of common interest.
Democrats who won narrow control of the Wisconsin Senate in the recent recall elections just gained access to the former Republican majority’s redistricting file from its law firm. Among the hundreds of documents made public Tuesday are emails confirming GOP efforts to draw Assembly and Senate districts in their favor.
For example, Sen. Leah Vukmire, R-Wauwatosa, wrote in one email about redrawing her district: “Western Wauwatosa — yes (more GOP),” “West Milwaukee — No (forgot to mention this part of current district — VERY Dem” and “Milwaukee — cop wards if needed.”
Another document detailed how many districts would be safe for Republicans, GOP-leaning, swing districts, safe Democratic or lean Democratic under at least one version of the new maps.
The partisan games and blame are tiring. It’s time to reform this rotten system so voters are respected.