(MADISON) – The Wisconsin Legislature, along a party line vote, passed new district lines that will last for the next decade. Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) released the following statement in response:
Today, the Wisconsin Assembly passed an extreme gerrymander of state legislative districts that would entrench a perpetual Republican majority no matter how much popular opinion in Wisconsin changes. The Republican legislature decided they would prefer to keep their jobs instead of producing a fair map that better reflected the overall makeup of the Wisconsin electorate.
The Wisconsin GOP will settle for nothing less than what may be the most gerrymandered map in the country. Even the final maps released by the People’s Maps Commission favor Republicans to win 55% of seats in the State Assembly and 63% of seats in the State Senate. But even having an 11 seat majority in the Assembly is not enough for them. They must have an overwhelming number of seats, even if they receive less than a majority of raw votes.
Let’s be realistic- the current leadership in the Wisconsin GOP will cry partisanship at any map that doesn’t give them at least 60 guaranteed seats in the Assembly.” It is laughable on its face, but this is how far to the extreme right the Wisconsin GOP has swung. Instead of competition and accountability, they want to make sure they keep their own seats. Competitive districts are anathema to their ideology, as evidenced by today’s vote. They have shown again and again they don’t care for democracy- only having and maintaining power by any means necessary.
Everything that should have gone into crafting district maps- holding public hearings, welcoming feedback, and updating their maps to reflect that feedback- was missing in the Wisconsin GOP redistricting process. There was no transparency and no desire to do the right thing for the people of Wisconsin- only a desire to keep power.
Today’s vote was a disgrace. Entrenching Republican control of the legislature in an attempt to gain a permanent supermajority is simply an attempt to circumvent the balance of powers and turn the Governor into a ceremonial role. Wisconsin Republicans should be ashamed.