Contact: Brad Bainum, [email protected]
MADISON — With the U.S. Supreme Court today hearing oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford, a challenge to Wisconsin Republicans’ efforts to undemocratically lock down control of the state using partisan gerrymandering, it’s as good a time as ever to remember state Senator-turned-Senate candidate Leah Vukmir’s leading role in Wisconsin’s gerrymandering — a role that included Vukmir sending a series of gleeful emails in which she actually celebrated taking power away from voters.
Wisconsin’s Republican legislative leaders have said the voting district maps they drew last year were not aimed at political advantage, but new documents made public Tuesday show they discussed ways to increase the number of “safe” and “leaning” GOP districts and to protect conservative incumbents.
In one email, state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, offered these thoughts about redrawing her district: “Western Wauwatosa — yes (more GOP),” “West Milwaukee — No (forgot to mention this part of current district — VERY Dem” and “Milwaukee — cop wards if needed.”
She also wrote in the May 4, 2011, message to Tad Ottman, an aide to then-Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, “This is such a big task. So glad we are in control!”
Vukmir was “glad” to influence the redrawing of her district however she wanted — all so she could keep her power without having to make a compelling case for reelection to her constituents.
“Leah Vukmir embodies everything that is wrong with self-interested politicians who are so afraid of facing their constituents in fair districts that they eagerly carve out ‘safe’ seats with no real accountability to the people,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Brad Bainum. “Undemocratic and cynical? Sure. But that’s how you stay in power if you’re ALEC board member Leah Vukmir, who’s made a career of championing far-right policies and serving corporate special interests and CEOs, all while selling out Wisconsin’s working families.”
Read more from the Wisconsin State Journal.