A big thank you to a group of Republican legislators who have reportedly taken a stand against partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin by supporting a non-partisan commission method of redistricting.
The Wisconsin State Journal recently reported “Congratulations and thank you to Reps. Loren Oldenburg of Viroqua, Jeff Mursau of Crivitz, and Joel Kitchens of Sturgeon Bay for adding their names to Assembly Bill 303.
They join Reps. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville, Travis Tranel, R-Cuba City, and all Democratic lawmakers in cosponsoring this important legislation, which mirrors Iowa’s proven model for nonpartisan redistricting.” Also reportedly supporting the bill is Rep. Jon Plummer R-Lodi.
Partisan gerrymandering undermines good government. In 2018, one party won 60.6 percent of the seats in the State Assembly despite receiving only 48.6 percent of the Assembly votes statewide. People are less likely to vote if they feel their vote doesn’t really count. Potential candidates won’t run in districts that are not competitive, leading to a lack of choice for voters.
Non-partisan redistricting has strong bi-partisan support. Seventy-two percent of Wisconsinites (including 62 percent of Republicans) favor a non-partisan commission method of redistricting. Fifty Wisconsin counties and the Wisconsin Counties Association have passed resolutions supporting this concept.
Lincoln spoke of “Government of the people, by the people and for the people.” The six Republican representatives who support non-partisan redistricting are being faithful to that ideal. By contrast, the GOP leadership in the Wisconsin legislature clings to their partisan power in a betrayal of democracy and good government.
We need more Republicans with the courage to stand up to their party bosses and stand up for the people. I ask Wausau’s Republican Sen. Jerry Petrowski and Republican Rep. Pat Snyder to take a stand for the people on this fundamental issue.
Calvin Dexter of Wausau
Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot and Review gladly publishes letters from readers and from all candidates for local offices. The views of our readers are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot and Review. To submit a letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to 500 N. Third St. Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis., 54403.