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Documents finally released from Wisconsin's redistricting process confirm that Republicans used their legislative majorities and a lot of taxpayer money to gerrymander districts to favor their incumbents.

[Link warning: the comments section at madison.com is a cesspool into which I have not waded in a long time. Go at your own risk.]

More details below the cheddar cheese curd.

Last year, with State Senate and Assembly majorities, Wisconsin Republicans controlled the redistricting process. They chose to do so secretly, while claiming to be fair about it. The process occurred at a private Madison law office, "Michael, Best and Friedrich" and when any Democrats or other outsiders requested documents, this was refused under lawyer-client privilege. The claim was that the State Senate, and in particular the Senate Majority was the client, despite paying MBF over $430,000 in taxpayer money. People contributing to the process were pressured to sign secrecy pledges before seeing any documents. Due to the recall elections, the Democrats currently are the Senate Majority and the documents were finally released to Majority leader Mark Miller last Friday and given to reporters yesterday.

And wouldn't you know, the documents show that districts were carefully mapped and redrawn to protect incumbents and increase the number of Republican seats. I guess this is what we look forward to living with for the next 10 years. Yes I know that gerrymandering has historically been done by both parties but the secrecy and abuse of power and taxpayer money in this case are pretty offensive.

Originally posted to BRog on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 07:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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