Thursday, January 5, 2012

Redistrict Gerrymandering, The Lawsuit, The Lies, Robin and Van

SD 21 Wanggaard's Old District
Every ten years after the census is complete, states take a look at their maps of voting districts to analyze population changes and make adjustments based on those numbers. It's really an exercise designed to create fair representation, but many moons ago the very first politician discovered that this exercise could be used to political advantage and redistricting has been a down and dirty slug fest ever since.

Last July, Madison Republicans introduced their proposed redistricting maps they apparently drew in a secret tunnel under the Capitol and quickly signed them in to law. Bing. Bang. Boom.

Many states draw maps by using non-partisan sources or court monitored systems so no one can take excessive liberties...but not Wisconsin, to the victor go the spoils. The naked power grab of Scott Walker and his band of criminals extended naturally to district maps, drawn in secret by lawyers and Republican Party officials. (RWNJ jobs like to say Dems did the same thing when they drew the maps last time, but they are wrong and need to stop huffing and start reading.)

The lawsuits began forthwith only to reveal GOP map architects and legislators didn't feel much like sharing either their process or their communications about how they arrived upon their maps and that didn't go over very well with the judges overseeing one of the lawsuits. Not once, not twice, but three times Republican stalling and bullshit excuses were overruled by the three Republican appointed judges.

In scathing ruling the panel wrote:
"Quite frankly, the Legislature and the actions of its counsel give every appearance of flailing wildly in a desperate attempt to hide from both the court and the public the true nature of exactly what transpired in the redistricting process," the ruling reads.
"The court "will not suffer the sort of disinformation, foot-dragging, and obfuscation now being engaged in by Wisconsin's elected officials and/or their attorneys."
SD21 Wanggaard's New District
Ouch. What elected officials might you ask? Robin Vos for one - of course.

According to testimony already on record, Vos was one of only a handful of legislators in the room when the maps were drawn.

Vos' attorney's made the judges so angry they actually sanctioned three of already tied to State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman's own legal fiasco which should trigger an impeachment but probably won't.

Swell crowd.

So what are they hiding? Plenty the Siren imagines. An explanation of Van Wanggaard's dramatic Senate District make-over might be interesting. Only one other legislator (Darling) in Wisconsin benefited more from the new district maps.

Van's new district would make him Senator for life.

Looking at the new map, it is easy to see why Wanggaard would fight really hard to be recalled in his new district rather than his old one. Van gets a "Barbie Dream House" of a new district that magically begins just feet from his residence...don't you imagine "someone" talked to him about it? Did he have any input? How much? What did Vos tell him?

Any enterprising journalist could ask him or initiate a open records request...Steve Lovejoy? Oops we said enterprising.