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GOP redistricting shenanigans

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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby snoqueen » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:14 am

On the dailykos page linked above, the public is going over the emails mining for tidbits. Here's a good one.

Image

Esenberg has agreed to testify in favor of the redistricting, but he hasn't even seen the map or the numbers??

He's a big conservative blogger and his credibility just went right out the window. If anybody feels up to it, they can go find his blog and see how he spins that one. I don't care, personally. We can already tell his testimony would be "this is good because we say so" instead of "this is good because the numbers show it's a fairly drawn district."
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby minicat » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:35 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Felony convictions as as effective as recall elections in removing legislators from office.

Just sayin'.


well ... except when the state Supreme Court is also bought & sold for that particular side. see Jensen, Scott.

While it did remove him from running from political office, it didn't do much to stop his activities in that arena otherwise.
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:59 am

minicat wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:Felony convictions as as effective as recall elections in removing legislators from office.

Just sayin'.


well ... except when the state Supreme Court is also bought & sold for that particular side. see Jensen, Scott.

While it did remove him from running from political office, it didn't do much to stop his activities in that arena otherwise.

Except that federal felony charges and convictions are outside of the purview of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. And under the Wisconsin Constitution, convicted felons cannot hold public office. Walker cannot pardon federal convicts, only those convicted under state law.
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby juanton » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:05 am

Wow, did that Ottman character really type that he based some of his redistricting efforts on "wildly gerrymandering" within Hispanic areas?
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby snoqueen » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:05 pm

In case you're wondering why citizen Scott Jensen got to see the redistricting maps before citizens you and I did:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolit ... 27033.html
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:21 pm

Thanks for the link.

Barca summed it up best:
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said it was unfair that Jensen was provided with maps in advance while the public was not, particularly because of his help funding efforts to elect Republicans.

"They clearly have special access and the ability to do what the public has not involvement in at all" in crafting the maps, Barca said. "It's just disgraceful."


On an aside, do you know if clicking on the jsonline link counts toward my 20 a month limit, as I am not a paid subscriber?
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby lukpac » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:05 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:On an aside, do you know if clicking on the jsonline link counts toward my 20 a month limit, as I am not a paid subscriber?


Not sure, but blocking cookies from jsonline.com seems to sidestep the issue.
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:40 pm

Senate moderates propose constitutional change to make redistricting nonpartisan

A bipartisan pair of state senators has offered legislation to take redistricting out of the hands of state lawmakers and give it to an independent, nonpartisan commission.

Sens. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, and Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, are circulating the bill for co-sponsorship.

Other states also use an independent body for redistricting. It wouldn't take effect until 2020 and a constitutional amendment would be required. But now is the time to do so, since no one knows which political party will be in power in 2020.
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby snoqueen » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:53 pm

I find it interesting this is being proposed at the same time several members of the WI Supreme Court are proposing merit selection instead of elected judges.

In these times, we are seeing all the weaknesses in our state constitution being exploited by those intent on exploiting them. The trouble is, next time we are in this fix they'll just find new weaknesses to exploit.

Still, trying to take some of these balancing functions out of the partisan arena can't be a bad idea.
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:03 pm

Federal judges on Tuesday postponed a trial over the state's latest election maps, telling lawyers for both sides to spend the day determining whether lawmakers would consider drawing new maps.

Presiding Judge J.P. Stadtmueller cited a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in which the justices concluded that redistricting is best handled by lawmakers as much as possible, not by judges.

Stadtmueller gave the lawyers until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to "advise the court whether there is opposition to addressing this matter in the forum where it should be addressed — the Wisconsin Legislature."


Anyone think the Legislature will rewrite the redistricting map? If they don't, it looks like the federal court will.
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby snoqueen » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:39 pm

The WSJ doesn't make it sound this way, but the Journal Sentinel gets to the point of Judge Stadtmueller's orders:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolit ... 29743.html

Commentary and some of the text of the judge's remarks:

http://www.thepoliticalenvironment.blog ... cting.html

The Republicans and Gov Walker have committed around $900,000 of taxpayer money for legal advice on redistricting: $400,000 to Michael Best and Friedrich and another $500,000 to the Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren firm. In addition the panel of judges has so far ordered Republicans' attorneys to pay the other side $17,500 for filing frivolous motions.

Unfortunately, if the legislature is supposed to take this thing up immediately there will be a delay. Big Fitz is out of town, along with Little Fitz and a number of friends:

http://cognidissidence.blogspot.com/

(see the blog's Mon. Feb 21 posting)
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:54 pm

Here is the GOP excuse for not redrawing the map:

Attorney Daniel Kelly said the state constitution only allows lawmakers to draw new voter lines once every 10 years, and the issue can't be revisited until the next U.S. Census numbers are out.

An attorney for the plaintiffs disagreed, saying state law only requires that new voter maps be completed in the first legislative session. He says this first legislative session hasn't ended.
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:26 pm

The federal judges don't buy the GOP's lawyer excuse for not revisiting the redistricting map.

Federal judges in a case involving Wisconsin's new election maps want attorneys for both sides to make one final request of lawmakers to draw new boundaries.

Lawmakers already said Tuesday that they didn't think they could revisit the issue because state law only allows the maps to be drawn once every 10 years, after new U.S. Census numbers come out.

But the judges disagreed Wednesday, saying the law allows the maps to be modified at any point during the first two-year legislative session following the Census release. In this case, that legislative session is still ongoing.
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby bleurose » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:33 pm

Every one of the Republicans' stretched-thin-as-air excuses and out-beyond-left-field pronouncements are being judicially slapped down in stern & practically incredulous language. How much longer can they keep this up and will the taxpayers have to cover their fines in addition to all the $$ being wasted on these lawsuits?

And of course the current Supreme Court says that redistricting should be left in state legislative hands - their current cozy little right wing majority depends on keeping Republicans in state majorities no matter how egregious the redistricting lines are :roll:
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Re: GOP redistricting shenanigans

Postby nutria » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:03 pm

Does anyone else find it ironic that the Republicans likely would have gotten their preferred map enacted if they hadn't been so secretive about how they drew it? Maybe not likely, but they certainly would have gotten outcome more favorable to them that way. They would have had a much easier time winning public opinion with the "well, we're in the majority, so we can do what we want" argument. Instead, they are doing all they can to make it look like they are doing something illegal, even if they aren't. As a consequence, they end up bringing more scrutiny upon themselves.
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