Sunday, February 26, 2012

Van's Shiny New District Moved 18% Of Voters

Let's face it, a lot of people in the city of Racine really hate Van Wanggaard. They could not wait to sign those recall papers.

Why? Well in an unscientific survey of petition circulators the reasons varied from public workers who are educated enough to understand the definition of the word "hypocrite" - a guy who used to be a union rep. and has now sold them out in his aspiration to belong to the Wisconsin 1%. They understand his protestations that he strengthened Act 10 to make it not so bad for them is a bunch of horseshit.

If they were a union member - public or private - or they knew someone who was, they came with pens clutched in their fingers ready to sign...often muttering vague obscenities.

Others view Van as the rubber stamp that made everything Scott Walker wanted a reality. He voted 100% of the time with Walker and they know it. Voter ID, deregulation of environmental protections, the Castle doctrine and conceal & carry, the repeal of pay equity for women, school vouchers for Racine and Racine only...the list is really long.

Plenty of poor and working people in Racine saw their Earned Income Tax Credit disappear - and it hurt. Older folks on fixed incomes know the freeze on their Homestead Tax Credit means they are going to be paying higher and higher property taxes. Van voted for all these things - they may be older or poorer, but they aren't stupid.

A lot of these people live in the city of Racine proper...and like that really ugly girl you hit on once when you were very, very drunk...it's best to avoid that bar in the future if you can.  

So in the tale that must not be told in local press about redistricting (lord knows the Journal Times won't make much of it - it contains numbers) an interesting exchange took place in testimony on Friday in the federal lawsuit against the maps state Republicans drew.

(By this we mean mainly Robin Vos who: created them in secret, signing secret oaths and showing the maps only to convicted felons, the state Republican party and various campaign supporters before they showed them to their colleagues in the state house and naturally the people of Wisconsin.)

When district maps are drawn - they are supposed to take in to account changes in population. That's why they take place after the census every 10 years. Districts expand or contract based on population numbers. In creating Senate or Assembly lines they are not supposed to move more people than necessary. Why? Well because of staggered election cycles - voters can get shut out of voting. The courts don't like that...and the people think it's kinda shitty too.

So not only did Van Wanggaard get an extreme makeover of a new Senate District 21 that now leans so Republican - if the 2010 Governors race was run there now - Scott Walker would win the 21st Senate District by 23 points. 20 fucking 3 points.

In creating this new miracle district they had to shift around a lot of people - A LOT OF PEOPLE. The first to go had to be that ugly girl named Racine who he used once and now can't stand the sight of him.

In testimony on Friday, Kenneth Mayer a political science professor and redistricting guru said the GOP maps moved around 50 times more people than was necessary and Senate Districts 21 and 22 were standouts. Van's new "Republican Forever" district moved 18% of all voters in the massive gerrymandering makeover.

That means the people of Kenosha County who would normally be getting to vote for their Senator (Wirch) this fall have to wait until 2014 to vote for their new district Senator (Wanggaard) - a span of six years. The courts don't like it and generally refer to it as "voter disenfranchisement."

Republicans are justifying their scheme by saying because of the recall elections everyone is getting to vote all the time. An explanation no one is buying since they've done everything possible to stop the recall elections.

It's a little like saying: "You now have those beautiful, white capped teeth you always wanted because I punched you in the mouth and knocked them out. See? I did you a favor."

18% of the population needlessly moved to give Wanny a magic district. No wonder he signed a secrecy agreement - how could he possibly explain it with a straight face?