By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — So much for “fair” maps from the people.
Gov. Tony Evers has tossed out his own People’s Maps Commission redistricting plan and submitted his own version of the maps to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Evers closed-door creation comes after the Democrat’s boasts about the “people of our state—not elected officials, not lobbyists, and not political party officials” drawing up Wisconsin’s new political boundaries. The governor’s maps also reject the “People’s” maps, which were rejected by his Democratic allies in the Legislature because, among other things, they violated the Voting Rights Act.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) blasted Evers’ hypocrisy and his pretense of creating “fair” maps in a transparent process.
“Now Governor Evers has abandoned his campaign rhetoric promising for independently-drawn maps to rapidly and secretly draw his own rigged maps without public input. The hypocrisy of the governor is impossible to ignore,” the lawmakers said in a statement.
Late last month, the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed it would take a “least change” approach in settling new state and congressional boundaries for the next decade.
The 4-3 ruling means the state’s high court will make only minimal changes to the current maps drawn up in 2011 by a Republican Legislature and governor. In short, the disputed maps will reflect the changes in the state’s population over the past 10 years, but they won’t be driven by political ideas of representational fairness.
Evers vetoed the Republican-controlled Legislature’s latest maps, calling them “gerrymandering 2.0.”
But the maps his “people” drew up were attacked for doing the same — by his own party.
Legislative Democrats voted against them, with Rep. Sylvia Ortiz-Valez (D-Milwaukee) blasting the commission’s dissolution of black and Latino districts.
“A map that cancels out our voices, cracks and dilutes our vote, is immoral and it’s wrong,” she said.
Now Evers is trying to force through maps written behind closed doors that manipulates districts for the sake of Democratic Party power.