October 1, 2013
CONTACT:Jay Heck – 608/256-2686
A Conspiracy of Silence Against Redistricting Reform Public Hearings
Fitzgerald, Vos, Lazich & August Refuse to Explain
Why They Fear Public Discussion
The unprecedented, united and relentless editorializing by Wisconsin's newspapers calling for legislative public hearings on non-partisan redistricting reform legislation since mid-August, continued this weekend with powerful statements in support of open, accountable state government -- and for the right of Wisconsin citizens to hear a robust debate on whether Wisconsin ought to end hyper-partisan, secretive, expensive gerrymandering that robs voters of real choices in general elections and causes legislators to behave in an unresponsive, unaccountable and arrogant manner. Or not.
State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and State Representative Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva) --the chairs of committees with jurisdiction over redistricting reform legislation: Senate Bill 163 and Assembly Bill 185,
(Click to enlarge) identical measures that were introduced five months ago -- all vehemently oppose redistricting reform and refuse even to allow public hearings on the reform measures. Incredibly, they won't even explain why they refuse to schedule public hearings! They all occupy utterly safe Republican districts and so they feel as if being unresponsive, unaccountable and arrogant will not cost them much, if anything, politically. And so they have forged a conspiracy of silence on this issue. Wisconsinites ought to be concerned about whether this arrogance and lack of responsiveness will apply to other issues as well. And they ought to be concerned about what negative repercussions this behavior could cause for democracy and accountability.
Read these recent, powerful editorials about the need for redistricting reform, the demand for public hearings, and the self-interest and arrogance of Fitzgerald, Vos, Lazich, August and others:
Wisconsin State Journal - Partisan maps good for politicians, not the publicAre you mad yet? You ought to be.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Our View | Redistricting - Let the people speak: Hold a hearing on plan
Beloit Daily News - EDITORIAL: What's wrong with talking?
Marshfield News-Herald - Listen to public on redistricting reform: Our View
And this letter to the Editor of the The Oshkosh Northwestern - Letters to the editior: Redistricting process in Wisconsin opens doors
Common Cause in Wisconsin has been working to add more legislative co-sponsors of Senate Bill 163 or Assembly Bill 185. During the month of September we added four new co-sponsors.
For the updated, complete listing of public supporters of non-partisan redistricting reform legislation, go here.
If your State Senator and/or State Representative are not on that list, it is imperative that you contact them and urge them in the strongest possible terms to co-sponsor SB 163 or AB 185 and to join the demand for public hearings on redistricting reform. Here's how to contact them.
If you are not sure who your State Senator and/or State Representative are, go here.
And, if you are still fired up after that, contact Fitzgerald, Vos, Lazich and August and demand they end their arrogant conspiracy of silence and schedule public hearings!
Please let us know what you hear from any legislator on this issue. We are keeping track and need your help.
Are you with us?
Jay Heck, Executive Director
Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703