Sorry Journal Sentinel, Nobody Cares About Redistricting

Sorry Journal Sentinel, Nobody Cares About Redistricting

By Jeff Wagner. CREATED Feb 11, 2014

Every ten years, voting districts have to be redrawn in accordance with the latest census.

If political power in a State is shared, say a Republican Governor and a Legislature controlled by Democrats, the parties will often be unable to agree on new boundaries.  As a result, courts often get involved and end up drawing boundaries themselves.

The last time redistricting came up, Republicans in Wisconsin controlled both the Assembly and the Senate as well as the Governship.  Due to their majorities, the GOP got to redraw the election map. A subsequent legal challenge by Democrats failed except to slightly change the boundary of one Assembly District.

As a general rule, the new election map in Wisconsin makes Republican districts more Republican and Democrat districts more Democrat. 

By the way, Democrats (who control Illinois) did the exact same thing with redistricting.  

Since Democrats are in the minority in Wisconsin, the new boundaries arguably make it more difficult for them to capture seats (although easier for them to retain seats they already hold).  Since Democrats don't like being out of power, they resent anything they perceive as making it harder for them to win seats.

The Journal Sentinel Editorial Board agrees with the Democrats and has been slaughtering forests of trees to try to make its point.  For example, check out this and this and this.  That's not to mention publishing op-ed pieces like this.

Needless to say, despite a push from the chattering class, redistricting reform doesn't appear to be gaining any traction.

When pushed on the issue recently by members of the Wisconsin State Journal Editorial Board on the issue, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos effectively ended the conversation by saying "Nobody cares".

Really? "Nobody cares" about an issue of such deep import to some very liberal editorial boards?

Actually, I think Vos is absolutely correct. Nobody cares.  Moreover, nobody should care about the issue.  I have no problem with elected officials drawing boundary lines for electoral districts subject to a limited review by the courts.

The comments by Vos will undoubtedly cause some people to get their noses out of joint.  At the same time, truth is an absolute defense.

We'll talk about whether we need redistricting reform during the 1 p.m. hour of Tuesday's radio show.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section - and be sure to check back later to hear a replay of the segment. 

Jeff Wagner

Jeff Wagner

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Jeff Wagner recently completed his 15th year as a talk show host at 620 WTMJ. Jeff's show, which airs Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m., features stories which you might not have heard about elsewhere and emphasizes Jeff's common sense approach to issues.