GOP’s Secret Redistricting Scheme

Email date: 6/28/11

In this update:
1. WDC files open records requests for redistricting plans
2. Controversy has stranglehold on Wisconsin Supreme Court
3. More reaction to U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Arizona case

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WDC files open records requests for redistricting plans
The Democracy Campaign today made a formal appeal under the state Open Records Law for redistricting maps that are being secretly circulated among key legislators. WDC also is seeking other information pertaining to the process of redrawing legislative districts in Wisconsin that already has cost taxpayers at least $300,000.

For audio commentary on today’s action, go here.

Capitol insiders have reason to believe that Republicans who control both houses of the Legislature plan to act on the still-secret redistricting plans very soon. Word is one house will vote the first week of July and the other house will vote the following week. Such an action would be unprecedented. The once-a-decade redistricting process begins at the local level in Wisconsin, with new municipal boundaries normally established by the end of August. Legislative and congressional redistricting then follows in the fall. The only conceivable reason majority Republicans have for jumping the gun and redrawing state districts before new local boundaries are drawn is to complete the work before upcoming recall elections that could flip control of the Senate to the Democrats, thus robbing the Republicans of total control over the redistricting process.

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Controversy has stranglehold on Wisconsin Supreme Court
Members of the state Supreme Court have been their own worst enemies for some time now. But the latest incident takes this self-inflicted harm to a whole new level. A physical altercation between two justices has prompted a criminal investigation. For more on this, go here.

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More reaction to U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Arizona case
Yesterday’s E-Lert included a link to the Democracy Campaign’s statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down a key feature of an Arizona campaign finance reform that has been working for more than a decade. For audio commentary on the ruling that was posted today, go here.

Russ Feingold issued a statement that was both brief and blunt. One legal expert sees a silver lining. Others issuing statements in opposition to the decision included the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s Law School, the Center for Governmental Studies and the national Campaign Finance Institute.

An interview with the Democracy Campaign’s director about the impact of recent court rulings on our democracy and how citizens should respond was posted yesterday on a site called Wisdom Voices.

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Spread the word by sending this message to people you know. To support the Democracy Campaign’s efforts to make people matter more than money, go here.

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