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As I See It

Redistricting process likely to be much like last time

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It is finally that time again. The Wisconsin Legislature is beginning the process of drawing legislative boundaries, as it does every ten years. And as it does every ten years, lawmakers will seize the opportunity to try to help themselves, while making a mess of the whole process. It looks like that is the plan again, as Republicans in control of the Legislature say they hope the next set of boundaries retain “as much as possible of the core of existing districts.” Let’s hope not. Wisconsin’s legislative districts are the most gerrymandered in the country. They are drawn to give one political party an advantage over the other by creating “safe” districts for their candidates. When this last happened in 2011, it was done behind closed doors, in secret, with no public input or transparency. It was the subject of many expensive legal fights, and federal judges ruled the maps to be unconstitutional. The process was too secret, too partisan, too expensive and too unfair. Why not follow the Iowa model and have the maps drawn by an independent commission? The People’s Maps Commission already has more than 800 citizen submitted maps, any of which is more fair than anything our politicians would come up with. We only do this once every ten years, and it is time we get it right.  

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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1 Comment

  1. Bill Feehan

    September 29, 2021 at 5:45 am

    We just saw how your non-partisan approach to redistricting worked right here in La Crosse County. Local Dems tried to not create a new district to represent new residents, they also tried to get rid of Republican Kevin Hoyer. These local non partisan races would not be drawn by a new branch of state government employees. So Dems who control local governments would be uneffected. It was not until local press printed stories about wrong doing that the maps changed. You have not even seen the new maps and you condemn them. Governor Evers will no doubt challenge the maps produced by the legislature. A court will be the arbiter. Maps will be asopted and life will go forward.

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