Campaign Finance Reform Public Forum in Middleton, WI (Part 3)

“Redistricting Reform” discussion continues in “Part 3” in a series of highlights from a CC/WI Public Forum held in Middleton, Wisconsin on June 7, 2010.

Redistricting do you brought up a really good point here’s what happens happens a democrat straw map republicans wrong map whoever is the majority of the time that man passes the minority party takes the majority party to court and we spend money on lawyers target out where in fact it ends up in a federal court and you know eventually a map has kicked out and

Bricks get moving and remember rick actually had he was drawn out of his district he wasn’t that happens and he became the assembly sergeant arms after that anyway it’s better vigilant ashley better painted is retired now um but anyways the point is i think we should just cut to the chase there are some legislators and i think they got somewhat of an argument

That the legislature shouldn’t give up control over something it’s supposed to do but it’s going to go to court no matter what i think democrats even took democrats report one year if i remember right way back when because they couldn’t decide on a map let’s just get the federal judges draw it and get it over i just set up a free free demo federal judges will

Save five you know 558 million dollars somewhere in there and let them draw the maps i think that’s probably the way to be done because what happens after this election cycle that the democrats maintain the governor’s office and maintain both houses of the legislature the republicans will take the democrats to court if the house is flipped through the democrats

Would take the republicans report i mean we’re going to court there’s just no way around so i believe with spencer black and a piece of legislation just to take the legislative process of redistricting and i don’t have a problem with it i simply don’t if it takes away some of the taint that that is in the process that takes away some of the cynicism that people

Have when it comes to the way things that are going on with the camera two thousand i was actually part of a citizen suit to challenge the redistricting plan in wisconsin on the basis of competitiveness that it wasn’t competitive enough and the thing that in the end got to me is sure it did go to the judges and the judges do the maths but you know what happened

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And this is this goes back to one of my over office or all analysis of why we’re in such trouble in wisconsin is that people don’t people in institutions don’t play their proper role the legislature has not shown enough control over the legislative leadership the judges don’t play the independent role on these political things that they should have what happened

In that case is the judge threw the plan and then he called in the majority leader of the republicans in the assembly and the majority leader of the democrats in the senate and he let them see that plan and make changes in that plan by the mothers chuck falling sky chance this little citizen group that is part of made a big fuss about that but it just shows that i

I yeah i agree with john i think some somebody has to do it separately differently but even we got it in part of this trouble because if the judge is when each time were you gone the legislature had gone to court if the judges had said i’m throwing out the legislative maps and i’m going to draw a clean map from from day one and then if that had happened i think we

Would have seen changes because you know a tweaking that goes on in individual districts when that we just looking plan goes through as been enormous so hopefully we will see some changes and i think that the i think the challenge that a citizens commission or whatever it can do is to keep again keep the drum beat up because the worst thing that can happen on these

Reform activities is there’s nobody on the other side it’s the people with the power and the control that are dominating the system you may be as citizens we will always win but if we don’t keep that pressure up to make it a more expansive open process that can only get worse this price question was related to redistricting commission’s versus judges was essentially

My question just which would be better does anybody have any thought well i’ll just say that you know the way i understand the way worse wisconsin the judges yes it always does go to the court but the judges in the scale mentioned they don’t really play a role they do they play is not one that’s that’s tremendously over expansive i mean they take the plan that the

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Legislature has grown up and they tweak it and they adjust in but they basically are reluctant to vastly change the design of the legislature i think what we’re talking about is really taking the process out of the hands of the legislature to a very real extent and putting it in the hands of experts nonpartisan experts who are drawing of the district lines with an

Eye towards competitiveness and that makes sense not and you know so it’s it’s different the judicial role right now is kind of a restraint rly it always goes to the court that’s true but it’s not as if they totally transform the legislative product and what we’re talking about we need the vastly transformed the product and the commission we would hope would do

That that would be the ideas that a commission well don’t you get into a problem though for example i think that you’re talking about competitive district we could ask a computer to draw the district’s by population it would do that but you probably want everyone competitive distance with you because if you’re saying are you saying that you want the district 7

Equal number of other than democrats you may never want you bad i know what you’re saying it all depends of where the computers start to draw if the computer starts to draw based on population of the isthmus you’re going to have one pretty competitive the ought to run early competitive seeds and one while the apprentice eat at the same time you became a look at

The numbers once you in certain parts of the state including my own sack district once you get below the presidential the us senate and the google internal numbers greene county is a classic example green counties in my senate district it’s a wonderful place on top of the ticket presidential race us senate and governor italy it leans democratic state senate state

Assembly county races the moma nonpartisan it leans republican so it’s just all because of what set of numbers you’re taking a look at first of all and secondly where do you start to draw the map it’s a very complicated issue because you do have areas where you have concentration of 14 you’re the other you look at milwaukee you look at the west side of madison for

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Example and you could easily pack what they call pack all of a party into it and then maximize a different party so you have to pay attention to what’s actually going on i think and certainly act i haven’t paid as much attention in the last couple of years but when i was involved with a suit on the on the competitiveness thing there were a number of very interesting

Articles that were written by scholars and legal people back around two thousand that that dealt with competitive measures and they were solid good competitive measures and they looked at a number of things and they look at the election results in a whole basis so you can come up i think with a measure of competitiveness that could be used to evaluate districts

And the idea would be to maximize the number where you had you know between where you know you had close to half and half in the districts what do you i mean that you might hear you can gerrymander as we have to create a competitive district huge area manager to convey if as i’m saying y know when the gerrymander competitive discount right i can see washington in

Waukesha comments how would you make those two competitive they would have to go with you if you rather you’ve got a spear into right we have to write it straight into milwaukee a train to that side of class pic to go back yeah mike it might look a little goofy yeah look at texas no for any reason i remember seeing a map of milwaukee county in the suburbs where

Look like a pie and everything had this little tiny one story i milwaukee’s waukesha go right out and that so you do have it’s not only competitive that’s you can even even if you’re drawing that at using that as one of your principal things you’re still going to have some districts that are more republican than some districts that are more democrat because that’s

Just the way it is that’s the way the population is formed but you can maximize the number of competitive districts and and if you if you have that as a value in camp do it you’re not going to get every single district competitive but you can certainly maximize the number you

Transcribed from video
Campaign Finance Reform Public Forum in Middleton, WI (Part 3) By CommonCauseWI