Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Editorial Plea About Redistricting That Never Was Going Anywhere

The Journal Sentinel and other newspapers around the state are pressing for public hearings that could lead to major reforms in redistricting. The goal is to take the heavily-partisan and self-interested process away from legislators, as has Iowa.

But politely hoping in print for "a rhetorical flourish" from Gov. Scott Walker to endorse the concept during his State of the State speech earlier in the week - - which Walker did not offer up - - was an exercise in futility.

For two reasons:

1. The speech was organized around themes and applause lines which Walker and his people can edit/copy/paste into re-election campaign ads this year, and perhaps during a 2016 Presidential run. 

Redistricting as an issue, let alone a problem to be addressed, is nowhere on Walker's radar or agenda. It does not raise a single dollar or win a single new vote or sway a convention delegate for Team Walker.

2. Walker and his allies in the Legislature are the current beneficiaries of partisan Wisconsin-redistricting-as-usual, and especially the recent, secretive process so messy in the last go-round that Republicans had to shell out a fortune in your tax dollars for lawyers to get the results past an irritated, conservative Federal judge.

No way was Walker going to utter one syllable that could be interpreted even implying that the post-2010 census redistricting deserved any criticism, let alone reform. 

After all, the 2020 census with the next round of legislative redistricting isn't that far away, and you can bet that if Wisconsin Republicans get the chance they will use their recent methodology and powers - - regardless of the stench they left around the Capitol - - as the upcoming remapping template.

No party in power ever gives it up voluntarily. 

And certainly not this crew  - - a gang not given to rhetorical flourishes - - that dispatched State Troopers to haul back absent opposition legislators, used and continues to wield 2012 recall election petition signature lists like a McCarthy-era loyalty oath and sanctioned the presence of military-grade, gun-toting private guards in the north woods to serve an out-of-state mining company/party donor without the proper licenses.



Anonymous said...

I agree - "hoping" and "hinting" isn't enough. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is in a position to be bold and direct in its reporting and editorials, especially where the best interests of Wisconsin citizens are concerned: non-partisan redistricting, air and water quality, the influence of ALEC and other special interest groups on our legislators, erosion of local government control, the plunder of our natural resources by foreign and out of state interests, the fact that our Governor spends more time out of state promoting himself than in state working on meaningful jobs growth, the fact that our Governor has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars through his failed WEDC, cancelling high-speed rail, rejecting federal money for healthcare, creating a budget “surplus” that appears just in time for the 2014 election, and contributing to a future structural budget deficit by taking out ill-advised loans. The citizens of Wisconsin deserve to know the truth – front page, above the fold, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the talent, resources and reach to deliver it.

Anonymous said...

Great post Jim!!

Is there any doubt that Walker's Wisconsin is the most CORRUPT state in America??

Walker for President?? I think not... Maybe Walker for Dictator. That's more like it.

enoughalready said...

I agree, too, that it sure looks like we will be waiting for a very long time if we are waiting for the Journal Sentinel to finally get real about young Mr. Walker.

Boxer said...

Gutless bastards.

enoughalready said...

To Anonymous 12:18:

According to this piece by Joe Conason, former Republican operative Roger Stone thinks Chris Christie's New Jersey operation is right up there with Richard Nixon's Watergate White House:

Anonymous said...


I don't think we should raise the scandal flag to high.
That's like calling the kettle black.

Anonymous said...

Add to the Anon 1/25 10:23 list: Taking millions of dollars from our public schools, and giving them to religious schools.

Big Al said...

Here's my representative's response to redistricting reform (Duey Stroebel, 60th District):

"I believe we should leave important policy decisions to those who are held accountable by the voters. Accordingly, I do not think that the process of redistricting should be left to some appointed board that would not be held responsible by the public."

So even if the JS actually took a stand, it's not going to happen with this group in office.