Tony Evers Signs Republican Passed Redistricting Plan.

[Update: I was out of the country when this finally went down so I was behind the curve. I wasn’t even able to watch the Super Bowl so I missed Taylor Swift’s big win there. So thank you to dekerivers (see comments below) for getting me up to speed. As a result I am re-writing this post with some new concerns and issues. But I am leaving most parts of it intact so you know where I was coming from. Those items will be in italics, the quotes will remain as published, and the new bits will be in bold at the end.]

This event caught be a bit by surprise…despite the Republicans passing a redistricting bill based on Governor Tony Evers plan…they did so with their own modifications and that bit seemed to make the plan poisonous to the Democratic legislators. The common thought seemed to be that waiting for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to make their final selection from the submitted maps would be more advantageous for the Dems. So I am not sure what changed the governor’s mind, but he signed the new maps today.

With the stroke of a pen, Tony Evers on Monday became the first Democrat in 13 years to achieve a long-elusive goal of the party: to win back political capital in the Wisconsin statehouse.

Democrats have, since 2011, been unable to climb out of a deep minority in the state Legislature cemented when Republicans drew and passed legislative maps that were considered by redistricting experts to be some of the most gerrymandered electoral boundaries in the nation, delivering massive majorities in both houses for more than a decade.

That changed Monday when the Democratic governor signed into law a bill Republican lawmakers begrudgingly passed that implement new legislative maps drawn by Evers.

“This is an extraordinary moment. I am floating,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin chairman Ben Wikler said after Evers signed the new maps into law. “For voters, for the last 13 years … their vote in the state Legislature was usually symbolic and now it actually has power.”

I am not quite so confident that this is a big win and apparently I am not alone:

All but two Democratic lawmakers voted against the maps, hoping the Wisconsin Supreme Court would step in and deliver the party even more favorable boundaries. On Monday, just four Democratic lawmakers stood by as Evers signed into law a plan the party has sought for years.

So I guess we’ll see what we see this coming November and in future years.

As I stated above, I am not sure that this is as big a win as the Democrats hope. And I am more than a bit disgusted that a number of Democrats have gloated about this move supposedly enabling the party to retake the majority in Madison. That shouldn’t be the goal…the goal is fair maps…so that the best candidates run for office and put forward the best ideas for the State of Wisconsin. Saying it enables Dem majorities is just the flip side of the coin from the Republicans.

And I’ll also go back and again wonder why the Republicans capitulated here. Obviously they thought this was a better deal for them than some of the other options being considered by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The devil you know? So Dems, keep that in mind while you are celebrating. You may have ceded a better map than the one you have. And the proof will be in the November pudding…for the next ten years.

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3 thoughts on “Tony Evers Signs Republican Passed Redistricting Plan.

  1. I have been following this issue for months and the final votes in both chambers on Tuesday voted on a bill where the Evers maps passed without any changes to the lines. The modiifactions you referred to by the GOP were in a bill that passed and was quickly vetoed by Evers the previous week.

  2. and this email got lost in the shuffle. found it this morning. Sorry Jeff Mandell

    Ed —

    Your post today is factually inaccurate. The bill the Governor signed today enshrines in law the exact map proposal he made in the Clarke litigation. There are no modifications whatsoever.

    Jeff

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