It appears Republicans may try to push redistricting through before July’s Senate recall elections. It’s the first time in fifty years that redistricting has happened with a single party holding both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office. State Representative Mark Pocan is a Madison Democrat. “We have one party and one party alone using taxpayer dollars to pay for the drawing of partisan maps,” said Pocan. “That’s the worst I’ve ever heard of for redistricting.”
The offices of Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald did not respond to requests for a time frame, but there is speculation that Republicans will attempt passage of redistricting prior to next month’s Senate recall elections – when they could possibly lose their Senate majority. UW political scientist David Canon said that would be the earliest ever. “Wisconsin is a ‘bottom up’ redistricting state where the local municipalities create the ward boundaries which are then the building blocks for drawing districts,” he said, adding that most municipalities won’t complete that task until September or October.
Pocan said since Democrats were denied money to hire their own law firm, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to offer an alternative plan to the GOP redistricting maps.