Cullen, Schultz Hold Own Redistricting Hearing

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Premiere Date: 
February 14, 2014

Cullen, Schultz Hold Own Redistricting Hearing

With no movement from GOP leaders on the issue, the senators held their own hearing.

Episode Transcript

Frederica Freyberg:

Speaking of legislation at the capitol, the Republican majority there won't hold a public hearing on this matter, so the authors of a bill to change the way voting lines are drawn in Wisconsin held their own this week.

Tim Cullen:

It’s our friends from Iowa. Did you–

Frederica Freyberg:

State senators Tim Cullen and Dale Schultz, Democrat and Republican respectively, drew a packed house for the hearing this week on redistricting. They want to change the way legislative district maps are drawn, taking the job away from legislators and the majority, and making it the job of nonpartisan staffers.

Dale Schultz:

What this boils down to is, who should be in charge? Should the public be in charge or should politicians be in charge?

Frederica Freyberg:

Experts from the UW-Madison testified at the hearing blasting the current method of drawing legislative voting boundaries in Wisconsin.

David Canon:

The current redistricting process then does not serve the interests of anyone except for the majority party in the state of Wisconsin, whether it's Democratic or Republican. It costs taxpayers millions of dollars every ten years, and it makes Wisconsin elections less responsive to the voters.

Frederica Freyberg:

Following the latest census count in 2010, the Wisconsin Republican majority drew the maps, a secretive, expensive and ultimately successful process for the Republicans.

Ken Mayer:

So during an election in which Democrats statewide won the US senate race by 167,000 votes and the presidential vote by 210,000, in state assembly races Republicans won 40 out of 47 of the most competitive races. Now, the staffers who drew the map testified under oath that they were not influenced by partisan considerations. The three-judge court, again with two Republican appointees said, “We find those statements to be almost laughable.”

Frederica Freyberg:

For his part, during an editorial board meeting with The Wisconsin State Journal, which is calling for a public hearing on the issue, assembly speaker Robin Vos declared, nobody cares about redistricting.

Robin Vos:

I just believe that the legislature are the people who are elected to draw the maps. We're the ones are accountable. If people were upset about the way the maps were drawn, we would not have one election.

Frederica Freyberg:

The assembly and senate bills proposing to change the redistricting process in Wisconsin have been referred to committee, where they sit. 

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