Thursday, April 18, 2013

Redistricting Reform Moves Forward/CC National President in Wisconsin

Common Cause in Wisconsin Reform Update - April 17, 2013

1. "Iowa" Plan Redistricting Reform Measure Gains Bipartisan Support
2. National Common Cause President Bob Edgar Barnstorms Wisconsin Against Citizens United

1. Changing the secretive, expensive and hyper-partisan way Wisconsin redraws its state legislative and congressional district boundaries after each decennial Census is one of CC/WI's very highest reform priorities. We have been working with pro-reform legislators in both the Wisconsin State Senate and the Assembly and of both political parties. We have insisted on a united measure with bipartisan support because to do otherwise would be an act of utter futility. And we like how they do redistricting in our neighboring state of Iowa.

Last week, this united effort finally got off the ground when Rep. Mandy Wright (D-Wausau), Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay) and others unveiled legislation that would "de-partisanize" the redistricting process by stipulating that the non-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau draw the new district boundaries without regard to partisan considerations and consider only things such as keeping communites of interest intact as well as the compactness of the districts -- with rectangular-shaped districts considered better than lizard-shaped gerrymandered districts. This is the plan long favored and advocated by CC/WI. It is the same plan that State Senate redistricting reform leaders have all coalesced around now. These leaders are State Senators Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) and Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center).

CC/WI is grateful to all of these redistricting reform legislative leaders and their staffs for communicating and uniting behind one effective measure that is needed for Wisconsin and that will -- with significant citizen support -- be enacted into law and in place for the 2021 redistricting process.

CC/WI Executive Director Jay Heck spoke at a State Capitol press conference last week in support of the united redisticting reform measure. For television coverage go here. For Wisconsin Public Radio's report go here and for Wisconsin Radio Network coverage, go here. Wisconsin Eye filmed the entire press conference (Jay's comments appear at 10:17). For newspaper coverage go here.

CC/WI will be in touch shortly with what action citizens ought to be taking to advance this reform.

2. National Common Cause President Bob Edgar was in Wisconsin last week for a whirlwind schedule that culminated in his keynote speech at a conference to advocate how to take action against the infamous Citizens United vs. F.E.C. U.S. Supreme Court decision of 2010, which transformed American and Wisconsin politics in the worst way by allowing corporations and unions to spend unlimited general treasury funds to influence the outcome of federal and state elections.
Edgar spent about an hour on the Wisconsin Public Radio Ideas Network "At Issue" program talking and fielding questions about Citizens United. He was the subject of an interesting profile in The Capital Times by editor Paul Fanlund and was interviewed by both the Wisconsin Radio Network and WISPOLITICS.COM. There were other media events as well that we will post for you as they become available.

Thanks for visiting Wisconsin, Bob Edgar. Stay a little longer next time!

Jay Heck, Executive Director
Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI  53703

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steve gores la crosse said...

redistricting reform needs to be a top priority for election reformers in Wisconsin and elsewhere its been successful in other states and would open up our elections to wider competition no one should lay claim to a lifetime 'safe seat" incumbents should compete for our votes every election cycle! steve gores la crosse

steve gores lacrosse said...

Very sorry to hear of the passing of Bob Edgar what a legacy of reform he leaves behind a great congressman and true friend of reform well done sir