For Release: Thursday February 2, 2017
The revelation yesterday that Wisconsin Republican legislative leaders intend to hire – at taxpayer expense – two law firms through a secret vote, and without naming the firms, is richly ironic and insulting to every Wisconsin voter. Their 2011 state legislative voter maps were deemed unconstitutional last November by a panel of federal judges, in part, because of the lack of transparency and extreme secrecy utilized by these same leaders during the 2011 redistricting process.
Last Friday, the Wisconsin State Legislature was ordered to begin redrawing those 2011 maps and to complete the process by November 1, 2017 – and now the GOP leaders respond with more lack of transparency and still more secrecy.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) should stop acting like groundhogs hiding in their holes on redistricting matters. It gives a bad name to groundhogs.
All Wisconsin taxpayers, who will be forced to bear the cost for the defense of the unconstitutional maps by outside law firms, and all Wisconsin voters, who were robbed of input into the process and of real choices in general elections, should demand an end to this top-down arrogance and insist on complete transparency in all matters relating to complying with the federal court order to redraw voter maps this year and thereafter.
Complete transparency, for that matter, is a principle that should guide all state government actions.
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