So after weeks and months of wondering when the Republican-led state legislature was going to unveil new district maps on Friday. Some thoughts:
1) — Of course it’s a gerrymander…and I don’t care.
As someone who’s heard of the rumored “Chvala Map” and it being in the hands of either former State Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (Chuck Chvala’s wife was on his state Senate staff) or Madison’s Jon Erpenbach, you know these ideas have been kicked around for years, by both sides.
You’re a naive, bumbling fool to think it’s only one side with “Evil, diabolical plans for total state political control” when it comes to redistricting.
2) — The Harping over the 7th is Hilarious.
I’ve said it before, but to watch the wailing and moaning from the likes of Dave Obey about his ex-district is funny.
For starter’s, it’s his ex-district! If Dave is so worried about it, why did he retire from Congress boys and girls?!? (Sorry, still too soon?)
Do parties do all they can to shore up incumbents and first term legislators? Of course they do.
Heck, I remember once on a comment board at either the Appleton Post-Crescent or Green Bay Press-Gazette where some Democrats openly discussed how they needed to ensure after 2010 — if he was still in Congress, and he’s not — and they had control of redistricting, to make sure Democratically-packed Oshkosh was included in any new boundaries of the 8th District to make sure Steve Kagen was secure.
Anything less they said, would make Kagen a perpetual target of the GOP.
(Never did ask Jef Hall, failed 6th Congressional Candidate, Winnebago Co. Democratic Party Chair, 2nd Vice Chair of DPW, and an older brother’s ex-rommie about his take on those plans…)
3) — Action now sought by Democrats makes them look “A Day Late, and a Dollar Short.”
Wisconsin Democrats controlled the State Senate after the 2006 elections, they controlled the State Assembly after the 2008. So any calls for any sort of “Redistricting Commission” right now are hollow. Democrats had their chance to enact one when they ran Wisconsin government and they didn’t do it.
Perhaps some inquisitive reporter-types should ask this session’s commission pusher, Brett Hulsey (D-Madis0n), [Not to mention Mike McCabe or Jay Heck] why no one accomplished this when his party had total control of the legislature and the governor’s office?
Or do we already know the answer to that one?
4) — Movers and Realtors to Benefit.
Yeah, this happens often. The question is now, do you want to fight it out in a primary or is moving just smarter to do. I think Wigderson has a solid list of those who will be putting “Two Men and a Truck” on speed-dial.
That being said, the fact they redistricted Nusbaum out of the 2nd State Senate District by mere blocks is pretty damn funny.
5) — The Local Redistricting Argument is a Red Herring.
I think UW law professor Ann Althouse puts it best. While allowing locals to redistrict first has been what’s worked in the past, we’ve also never seen local officials more than willing to play political games at the rate they are. What’s to stop Democratic strongholds like Shorewood, Milwaukee, or Madison to intentionally slow down their own redistricting until after the recalls.
Two can always play any political game.
6) — Amazing How Easily DPW Forgets Illinois.
You want to see a gerrymander, look to the Land of Lincoln.
This is how the law works in a number of states. Screaming, holding ones breath, and jumping up and down won’t change it. Win elections, then you get to draw the lines!
7) — The Kos Kids Continue to Amuse.
Was reading over at Gruber’s blog how someone at DailyKos was putting the new districts and comparing them to the 2008 election. For the life of me, I do not understand why anyone would want to use 2008 election data (or 2010 data either) to determine who will win a given district in Wisconsin.
The 2006 through 2010 elections were waves — we seem to be having a lot of those lately — and waves give horrible “normal data” when it comes to voting patterns. My personal take would be to use either the 2004 Presidential or 2011 State Supreme Court elections as better markers since those were base vs. base elections and results in essentially ties in the state.
Maybe the state GOP should thank the Democrats for making the Prosser race close after all.