Wisconsin Senate passes GOP redistricting plan on party line vote
Post by Emily Mills on 7/19/2011 3:30pm
After hours of debate that included calls by Democratic senators to return SB148 - the redistricting plan introduced by Republicans just over a week ago - to committee, the Senate passed the plan by a vote of 19-14 on party lines.
Democrats lambasted the plan for what they alleged was gerrymandering of districts to make the state less competitive all around, negatively impacting minority populations, and bypassing the usual local ward line drawing processes that have in the past preceeded statewide redistricting.
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald was the only Republican to speak in defense of the plan. "I'm proud to announce that the new maps conform to constitutional and legal requirements. They are substantially equal in population, they are compact, they are contiguous districts, and there is a deference to our minority populations in our urban centers," the senator said during debate.
"The senator from the 13th said all of that with a straight face," countered Sen. Spencer Coggs. "But this plan makes absolutely no sense." Coggs went on to claim, "That’s not a competitive map, folks, that’s a do-over map...Voters are supposed to pick their politicians. Politicians are not supposed to pick their voters."
Emily Mills is Editor-At-Large for Dane101, as well as Editor of Our Lives Magazine. She is also a freelance writer, photographer, actor, and musician (drummer and singer in local band Little Red Wolf). Originally from several states up and down the Midwest Emily has called Madison home since 2000. Contact her at