MADISON- Today, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Ehlke voided tax-payer funded contracts top Republican legislators made with private, Washington D.C. based law firms to represent them during the redistricting process. Judge Ehlke found that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu were not authorized to do so. The contracts were expected to cost Wisconsin taxpayers more than $1 million.
Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) released the following statement:
“We haven’t even begun the redistricting process in Wisconsin and Republicans are already lawyering up to protect their gerrymandered, unfair maps. This is just another example of why partisans should not be allowed to be leading in redistricting. Legislative district maps should be fair, even, and not drawn by elected officials. No elected official should be able to tailor their district to keep their seat – voters choose their representatives, not the other way around.
“Playing games with hard-working Wisconsinites tax dollars is not a good idea. When Republicans continue to play these partisan games, Wisconsinites lose – the people we represent lose. Everyone in our state should be outraged that Republicans are, once again, attempting to stick taxpayers with the bill for their rigged maps, drawn behind closed doors. Remember, we – the people of Wisconsin – already paid for millions of dollars worth of attorneys’ fees for Republicans to shield their maps in 2011 that have been noted as the most gerrymandered in the country.
“While today’s ruling is positive, we have to stay vigilant every step of the way to ensure that the drawing of our legislative district maps is conducted fairly and with transparency and accountability.”