Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

WI Rs sue to put Recalls in “New” Districts: Ds countersue

with 8 comments

Folks, this takes the cake.

I live in Wisconsin — more specifically, I live in District 21, which is comprised of the City of Racine and most of Racine County.  We are recalling our state Senator, Van Wanggaard, who was voted into office in 2010, took office in January of 2011, and has served as my state Senator for eleven months.

However, the state’s Republican Party has decided that the recall of Wanggaard should be held in the “new” District 21 — which is comprised of the vast majority of Racine County and Kenosha County, while the cities of Racine and Kenosha are lumped together into the “new” District 22.  There is a federal lawsuit that is pending in this case, because the “new” map amounts to gerrymandering on the part of the Republicans — most particularly with regards to Van Wanggaard’s district.**

Or, to be more blunt, Wanggaard is helped more by this new map than is any other candidate facing a recall election — the other three Senators facing recall at this time are Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), Pam Galloway (R-Wausau), and Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) — and that’s the main reason why the Rs want the “new” map rather than the old one in place.

See this link for further details:

A relevant quote from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article referenced above:

A group of Republicans has asked the state Supreme Court to require any recall elections for state legislators to be conducted in new districts, a move that would favor their party.

Republicans who control the Legislature drew new legislative and congressional maps this year to account for changes in population, and they explicitly wrote in the law that the maps were not to take effect for elections until November 2012.

Now, Democrats are trying to recall four Republican state senators, and Republicans want any recall elections to be held in the new districts, which would make it easier for them to hold onto their 17-16 Senate majority.

Going on, this article points out that the new R plaintiffs are being represented by Michael Best & Friedrich — or as the Journal-Sentinel puts it:

. . . the same firm that helped GOP lawmakers draw the maps and write the law that said they were not to go into effect until November 2012. In all, taxpayers paid $400,000 to Michael Best and the Troupis Law Office for their work on the maps.

So, did you catch all that?  The Rs are trying to “have their cake and eat it too” by filing this lawsuit, and are doing so under the auspices of the people who made up the terrible maps (that are now in litigation) in the first place.

I view it this way, folks: my own District 21 voted Wanggaard into office in 2010.  We are the only people who should have the right to recall and/or retain him — not the people in the “new,” largely ruralized District 21 that may or may not ever come to be (as there are some really big problems with that map).  And we are the ones who should make this choice — no one else.

For the Wisconsin Republican Party to do something like this isn’t just disingenuous.  It’s downright disgraceful. 

Because think about it, just for one moment; if the Rs were that confident in themselves, or their message, why would they be resorting to political trickery like this? 

Short answer?  They wouldn’t.

This is yet another reason why we must recall and replace Van Wanggaard.  Because if he were an honest and ethical person, he’d not want this lawsuit; instead, he just wants to hold on to his job.  And that’s just not a good enough reason to be a Senator to my mind — not at all.

Instead, this lawsuit is yet another reason as to why I keep saying, “Throw the Wisconsin Rs out!”  (Or if you use Twitter, the shorthand form #ThrowWIRsOut works quite nicely, too.)


** Thus far, there are at least two lawsuits in progress.  One was started by the Latino advocates Voces de la Frontera, and is a federal lawsuit.  And the Ds have vowed to countersue in both state and federal court over these “new” maps . . . all I know is, most of the time in WI, the only way maps get drawn is by impartial observers to do it because the process is just too contentious, else.  That’s why I am for a similar process to the one used by the state of Iowa, where the political theatre is absent and the work gets done without all this sturm und drang.

8 Responses

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  1. I really think that gerrymandering needs to be enforced.


    November 24, 2011 at 3:09 am

    • You mean, gotten rid of? (I can’t imagine you, Lika, thinking we should all be in District 22 now with the City of Kenosha — which is what that R-gerrymandered map would do — even though Bob Wirch is a really fine state Senator.)

      I know you want Wanggaard out. I certainly do as well. And that Wanggaard won’t “fight fair” in this instance by at least saying, “No, I don’t think this is necessary for the statewide R party to do — I will abide by the will of my constituents in this matter” is, to be blunt, asinine.

      Barb Caffrey

      November 24, 2011 at 3:12 am

  2. Sorry to hear this is happening. Hang in there!

    Like so many people around the country, I have been watching what is going on in Wisconsin. So much of what’s already happened there has been very inspiring!


    November 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    • Thanks, Eurobrat . . . we are fighting. We won’t give up, either. But it is discouraging all the total and unrequited nonsense we’ve seen here; that’s why I’ve been saying “Throw the WI Rs out” for a while now.

      There are maybe five or six good Rs in the whole state government at this point . . . no more . . . as the rest seem to be drunk on power. I haven’t a clue why this is except for the old maxim, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

      But we will keep fighting, and considering District 21 has recalled a R legislator before (in 1996, for far less than this), that’s the main reason Wanggaard is fighting dirty IMO. (He knows he can and will be recalled and then he will be replaced. Guaranteed.)

      Barb Caffrey

      November 24, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      • That is encouraging to hear. It means there’s a good chance, otherwise he wouldn’t be so desperate.


        November 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm

  3. Exactly. This is a desperation move on the Rs part overall. And they’d not make it unless they were sure Wanggaard is going to be out no matter what — which is, indeed, the case. (Many people I’ve spoken with have said words to the effect of, “I didn’t think Van (Wanggaard) would be like this!” or “I expected better of Van (Wanggaard)” or even “He should’ve known better than this.” And as this guy was one of our County Board Supervisors, and was before that a member of the Racine Police Department (a card-carrying union member and I believe also a union representative), well . . . that’s why so many in this area feel betrayed.

    Barb Caffrey

    November 25, 2011 at 9:31 pm

  4. This is exactly the kind of behavior you’d expect from people whose brain is on Koch

    Steve Carlson

    November 28, 2011 at 7:31 am

    • Unfortunate, but probably true, Steve.

      All I know is, I’m for throwing out as many of the Rs as I possibly can unless they’re principled — I can handle people like Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center). It’s guys like Wanggaard and Assemblyman Robin Vos (R-Rochester), along with Scott Walker (of course) that I cannot stand.

      Barb Caffrey

      November 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm

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