Why is the redistricting in Wisconsin not getting more attention

The redistricting efforts began in August of 2021 and was submitted by republicans in late fall. It was vetoed by Tony Evers and is now being deliberated in the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. A deadline of April 15th has been set.

Wisconsin Assembly District Map

Important Information & Links

The Redistricting Issue is Largely Overlooked

In our current political climate, the issue of redistricting in Wisconsin is largely getting little to no attention from the press and publications. For one, it isn’t very interesting especially when it is in the deliberation phase of things but also it is my opinion that neither party has the incentive to resolve this process prior to the established deadline of April 15th.

This nearing deadline is problematic as the longer it drags out, the less time candidates will have to do the things they need to do in order to have a substantial chance at winning the office they are seeking. 

While Democrats are obviously just trying to flip districts, with the current distrust and dislike of the RPW and how it has ignored and carried itself with conservative republicans in the state, many republican incumbents will face a primary challenge in the summer primary elections. 

The sudden rise of individuals looking to primary incumbent republicans is not all that surprising given all the controversy that arose from the 2020 presidential elections upset. Many feel as we do that this loss could only have occurred with a complicit RPW who were and have been very vocal of their dislike of former president trump.

All of this pushback from non-establishment Republicans and conservatives is not all that uncommon and in 2010, we saw the rise of the Tea Party which was a direct result of state parties and county districts ignoring the wills and issues of their own base.

It seems that our state party has once again shut their ears to conservatives in our state again as we see Patriot groups forming and working hard to overturn county office leadership and primary challenging incumbent republicans across our state. A great example of this is Shaboygan conservatives and patriots flooded the local membership with over 90 new registrations and are outing the current party chair in that district. It is much the same in other counties like Portage where the executive committees are blocking access to meetings and delegates to their own members. Many folks are tired of being ignored or actively blocked from participating. Even I have been blocked and attacked by the local party here in Wood County, WI from participating on social media and after many requests to join the party, all of my calls go unanswered however they have seen fit to contact candidates I am working with to express their displeasure with my criticism of them. I am not impressed in the slightest. 

What does the RPW Estblishment gain from dragging things out?

Simply put, it is playing odds at this point. the less time challenging candidates have to organize, gather signatures, and engage with the public the less likely they are to unseat the RPW sanctioned incumbents who have largely been hands-off with their district’s business or pursuing personal gains using their office as leverage.  

In my own district, over the summer, Scott Krug attempted a 20 million dollar land grab with the Verso mill in Wisconsin Rapids when he put an AB bill to the floor which would have given an unsustainable loan to a company in Black River Falls. The goal was not repayment as outlined in the terms of the bill, AB 682. Some of those provisions allowed for the recipient to name its own interest rate, established loose repayment guidelines, and several other red flags which I spoke about in previous articles. The banks would not even lend the amount to the company as their ability to repay the loan was lacking. This is one that Tony Evers did veto and I agree with the decision. Scott Krug works in real estate and I believe the goal was to acquire the property for development after the state reclaimed the property in default of the loan, which would then be sold for a song at pennies on the dollar. 

It is also observable that during the lockdowns and pandemic, when the school boards were shutting parents out, Scott Krug and many other RPW assemblymen were strictly hands-off leaving parents to fend for themselves.

The conclusion is that our state assemblymen are largely falling short of doing what we sent them to the office to do. Instead, we are getting personal motives or power grabs, neither of which serve us the people or the taxpayers residing in the districts they oversee.  

A breif history of redistricting in Wisconsin

The purpose of redistricting has largely always been a partisan act that both democrats and republicans have used to better their odds of getting control of and within our statehouse. 

The last time our assembly district map was altered was back in 2010 under the Scott Walker Administration which gave republicans much more influence in our statehouse.

 In our state’s entire history, redistricting has occurred six separate times. View Source Material

The premise and action is meant to adjust or change the assembly and congressional districts to account for demographic changes within those districts but in our modern political climate, is mostly used to hedge control two one party or the other. The real-world impact of illegal immigration and urban displacement can be argued that an unspoken policy where city leaders begin displacing lower class citizens into less populated districts who then bring their political ideology and leaning into those districts and shift control of those districts over to the interested political party.

This is primarily accomplished by increasing the cost of living in those densely populated areas via loopholes and tax policy such as the SALT which all landlords and property owners to reclaim lost rents and revenue at the end of the year which removes much of the pressure on landlords to lower rents in the areas they hold title to.

On January 27, 2020, Governor Tony Evers (D) signed an executive order creating an advisory redistricting commission to prepare congressional and state legislative district plans for consideration by the state legislature. The legislature, vested with the authority to adopt redistricting plans, would be under no obligation to accept the commission’s recommendations. The order mandated that commissioners must come from each of the state’s congressional districts and barred elected, public, and political party officials and lobbyists from serving as commissioners. The order specified neither the number of commissioners nor the manner of appointment. It established the following criteria for the commission’s proposed maps

  • “Be free from partisan bias and partisan advantage”
  • “Avoid diluting or diminishing minority votes, including through the practices of ‘packing’ or ‘cracking'”
  • “Be compact and contiguous”
  • “Avoid splitting wards and municipalities”
  • “Retain the core population in each district”
  • “Maintain traditional communities of interest”
  • “Prevent voter disenfranchisement”

Evers said, “I believe, and Wisconsinites do, too, that people should get to choose their elected officials, not the other way around. So, when the People’s Maps are presented to the Legislature next year, I hope they will receive unanimous, bipartisan support.” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) criticized the order, saying, “He can form whatever kind of fake, phony, partisan process he wants to create, but I have no doubt, in the end, we will do it the way we have always have, which is to follow the constitution.”

What is being proposed

There are currently 6 redistrict maps being proposed. Only two proposals are being actively considered while the other four have been tabled. When tabled, those maps are “technically” still under consideration but have been effectively shelved and are no longer being considered. It is important to note that while each group proposing changes to the assembly districts is claiming to be “non-partisan” one can easily ascertain that by the drawing of the maps, they are all highly partisan and reflect the overall goal of gaining more legislative influence in those areas of Wisconsin.

Following the veto vote by Tony Ever’s this matter is now in deliberation in the largely conservative supreme court of the State of Wisconsin.

Click on the links below to view each map.

Maps and Proposals for Wisconsin Redistricting

On October 1, 2021, the People’s Maps Commission, a redistricting commission established by Gov. Tony Evers, released map proposals for Wisconsin’s state legislative and congressional districts. On October 20, 2021, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) introduced state legislative and congressional map proposals. On November 3, 2021, the People’s Maps Commission released its final proposed state legislative and congressional maps. 

On November 8, 2021, the Senate approved Senate Bill 621 and 622, which would implement the state legislative and congressional district plans introduced by LeMahieu and Vos on October 20, in a 21-12 vote evenly split along party lines. The House voted to approve state legislative and congressional maps in a 60-38 party-line vote. Gov. Evers vetoed both the legislative and congressional maps approved by the legislature. “I’ve said all along I’d veto these maps if they came to my desk. They’re gerrymandering 2.0,” Evers said. On November 30, 2021, the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced it would seek to make as few changes as possible to the current legislative and congressional maps adopted in 2011. Evers submitted proposals for congressional and state legislative maps to the supreme court on December 15.

On January 10, the Supreme Court issued a 4-3 ruling in which it denied congressional Republicans’ request to submit an additional, amended map for the court’s consideration. The ruling also granted Evers the ability to make corrections to the map submitted on December 15.

View Information on Ballotpedia

Proposed State Legislation Redistricting Maps

SB Bills and Misc Documents related to Assembly Redistricting

Proposed & Tabled Redistricting Graphics

Below are easier visualization graphics of the proposed changes to the state assembly redistrict plans. There are only two active plans currently being considered. The remaining four have since been tabled.

State of Wisconsin Redistricting Criteria

In addition to the federal criteria noted above, individual states may impose additional requirements on redistricting. Common state-level redistricting criteria are listed below.

  1. Contiguity refers to the principle that all areas within a district should be physically adjacent. A total of 49 states require that districts of at least one state legislative chamber be contiguous (Nevada has no such requirement, imposing no requirements on redistricting beyond those enforced at the federal level). A total of 23 states require that congressional districts meet contiguity requirements.
  2. Compactness refers to the general principle that the constituents within a district should live as near to one another as practicable. A total of 37 states impose compactness requirements on state legislative districts; 18 states impose similar requirements for congressional districts.
  3. community of interest is defined by FairVote as a “group of people in a geographical area, such as a specific region or neighborhood, who have common political, social or economic interests.” A total of 24 states require that the maintenance of communities of interest be considered in the drawing of state legislative districts. A total of 13 states impose similar requirements for congressional districts.
  4. A total of 42 states require that state legislative district lines be drawn to account for political boundaries (e.g., the limits of counties, cities, and towns). A total of 19 states require that similar considerations be made in the drawing of congressional districts.
Methods and Classification regarding Redistricting

In general, a state’s redistricting authority can be classified as one of the following:

  1. Legislature-dominant: In a legislature-dominant state, the legislature retains the ultimate authority to draft and enact district maps. Maps enacted by the legislature may or may not be subject to gubernatorial veto. Advisory commissions may also be involved in the redistricting process, although the legislature is not bound to adopt an advisory commission’s recommendations.
  2. Commission: In a commission state, an extra-legislative commission retains the ultimate authority to draft and enact district maps. A non-politician commission is one whose members cannot hold elective office. A politician commission is one whose members can hold elective office.
  3. Hybrid: In a hybrid state, the legislature shares redistricting authority with a commission.

Proposed Congressional Redistricting Maps

In addition to our state legislative maps being redrawn, the congressional maps are also being worked on as well. Please find links below to those proposed maps. 

Governor & Republican Proposed Redistricting Maps

Congressional Proposed Redistricting Maps

People's Redistricting Committee Proposed Map

SB Bills and Misc Documents related to Congressional Redistricting

What is Gerrymandering?

The term gerrymandering refers to the practice of drawing electoral district lines to favor one political party, individual, or constituency over another. When used in a rhetorical manner by opponents of a particular district map, the term has a negative connotation but does not necessarily address the legality of a challenged map. The term can also be used in legal documents; in this context, the term describes redistricting practices that violate federal or state laws


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