Wisconsin’s Democrats are again taking their discussion about redistricting to the people. Several are upset with what they call gerrymandering, and would like to see Wisconsin move the redistricting process every ten years to a non-partisan body.
State Representative Mandy Wright of Wausau says the last redistricting created a very lopsided Legislature, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars to complete. “I really do think that with these new districts that have been drawn, we have created very strong Democratic districts and also some very strong Republican districts. Those representatives tend to be far more extreme, Democrat or Republican, because they’re more worried about a primary (election) than really pleasing their general electorate.”
The issue of redistricting is a high priority for several of Wisconsin’s freshmen Democrats. Wright believes it will take more Legislators and pressure from the public to make the changes. “I actually have an unusual district, where’s it’s basically 50-50, and I have to be very conscious of listening to both sides of the isle, and really actively seeking out ways that we can work together, and I appreciate that, and I think it’s a good thing but it’s never going to be resolved if I don’t have more of my colleagues that feel that same sort of pressure.”
Former Congressman David Obey will join Representatives Wright, Amy Sue Vruwink, Dana Wachs, Deb Kolste, and Evan Goyke for a series of public hearings around the state. “We’re going to hold public hearings. We’ve had this bill the entire last session and it hasn’t gotten a public hearing, so we’ll be holding public sessions throughout central Wisconsin.”
The Wausau hearing is January 10th at Northcentral Technical College beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Larry Lee, WSAU