Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.


Wisconsin legislators take an oath of office swearing to support the constitutions of the United States and the State of Wisconsin.

Those constitutions establish a representative democracy, where the people choose their government. In my opinion, legislators supporting a system that takes that choice away from the people violate their oaths of office.

Since 2012 we have suffered under the Republican’s extreme partisan gerrymander.  The proof is in the results. Since that year, the Republican party always wins 61% – 65% of the seats in the state assembly. In every election!  It hasn’t mattered whether that party only won a minority of the statewide votes as happened in 2012 and 2018. They still got nearly two thirds of the seats in the assembly. 

The clear message to us voters is that it doesn’t matter how we vote.  A political party owns the state legislature.  The legislature doesn’t belong to the people of Wisconsin.

And now the gerrymanderers are trying to fool the people into thinking they suddenly support nonpartisan redistricting. GOP’s plan is actually partisan gerrymandering with nonbinding, nonpartisan advice.  Only the advice must be nonpartisan, not the redistricting.  The gerrymandering majority can reject any maps drawn by the Legislative Reference Bureau that don’t allow them to keep control. Based on their history, that is exactly what we should expect from the Republican majority. They can continue indefinitely to prevent the people from choosing their legislature.

Wisconsin voters have a constitutional right to legislative maps that represent the will of the people. The current GOP plan should be defeated. Legislators of conscience in both parties should work together on an honest system of nonpartisan redistricting. 

Calvin Dexter, Wausau