Barb Caffrey's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Put recalls in “new” districts (ha!)

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

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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.