To the editor:

Editors Note: The Commonwealth did run a story titled “‘We do not want a Democratic map or a Republican map’: People’s Maps Commission visits 6th District” in the March 4, 2021 issue.

Our community must go on record to oppose partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin.

What kind of coverage will your newspaper be giving this very important issue that is coming up in this new year?

The rigging of our political maps is wrong, whether Democrats are doing it or Republicans are doing it.

It makes for too many safe seats so elected officials can ignore a big chunk of their constituents.

It makes for hyper-partisanship and lack of cooperation because the elected officials have nothing to fear – except being “primaried” by someone even more partisan than they are.

And it’s just plain wrong. No party in power should be able to rig district maps to keep themselves in power for ten years. That’s just plain nuts!

Banning gerrymandering has enormous bipartisan support in Wisconsin.

A Marquette Law School poll earlier this year showed that 72 percent of Wisconsinites want to ban gerrymandering, and that includes 63 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Independents.

Already, 54 county boards—representing more than 82% of the state’s population—have passed resolutions urging the state legislature to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin and give us independent, nonpartisan redistricting. Also 33 communities have also successfully passed county- or municipal-wide referendums for voters to weigh in directly.

Our community should do this, too.

It’s time for fair play and a level playing field.

— Leo Sances

Seneca Township, Green Lake County

(8) comments

Mark Alexander

Sallie you left out some big gaping points that make your comments lies. You kept just saying the governor in many of the past years while FAILING to designate their party affiliation. Why did you not do so? Could it be that for many of those years it was a republican governor and a majority of republicans deciding many of these issues to help their party? And we ALL know the only reason you are bitter against judges is they actually were loyal to the constitution and our laws and struck down trumps insane attempts to over throw a sane / fair election. No matter what the conspiracy theory sites are saying Biden won fair and square. So Byedon

Sallie Helmer

In 2010 Republicans won the majority in the Wisconsin Legislature with redistricting maps that were drawn by Democrats. In 2010-2011 the Republicans drew the redistricting maps fairly per Wisconsin state law. Republican's won that same Legislature majority in 2020 and will again lawfully draw district maps fairly. Why all the bellyaching about Gerrymandering? Answer is because Democrats lost the majority. The Democrats trample the U.S. Constitution constantly. If you cannot see the 2020 Presidential election was rigged for Biden to win you may be blind. Blind to reality. Your interpretation of the U.S. Constitution is pathetically wrong.

Joe Kallas

Leo Sances has delivered a clear explanation about the need for non partisan redistricting. All of our elected representatives should support the change and get it out of the hands of the politicians. Ms. Helmer doesn't seem to understand that Senator Baldwin won a state wide race and they are not affected by gerrymandering. At this point in time the Republicans will do anything to stay in power even if it means going against the will of the people. The Republicans are always saying Democrats refuse to compromise or "reach across the aisle". Well, it's the Republicans turn to practice what they preach. We need Fair Maps and we need them now.

Sallie Helmer

Redistricting

In Wisconsin, responsibility for redrawing legislative and congressional district lines rests with the legislature. The law requires the legislature to redraw legislative and congressional districts every 10 years based upon the results of the federal census.

If you think “the current system of redistricting, which favors the party in power at the time of the map drawing, is wrong.” Why was this “current system” just great all the while the Democrats were---- the party in power at the time? Democrat defeats did not happen because of gerrymandering (or voter suppression, for that matter), because Democrats had control of the politics before 2010.

Who doesn't want 'fair redistricting maps'? The answer is the Democrats. Their open borders policy is about flooding districts with large populations of people so they get more voting districts. We should favor our current system because the maps are drawn by the people's Representatives. Quoting Obama, “Elections have consequences.”

Progressives are looking for the proverbial Socialistic Utopian Society. Not equality of opportunity but equality of outcomes. Can a Partisan Governor appoint a committee of non-partisan persons to draw district maps fairly? No, he cannot. Democrats can stop “gerrymandering” by winning elections, like Republicans did in 2010.

Sallie Helmer

"Wisconsin’s congressional and state legislative lines are both drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

On June 3, 2020, petitioners filed a petition (20-03) with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, encouraging the Court to adopt specific rules for the resolution of redistricting disputes. That petition is currently pending. (Disclosure: I have opposed the petition.)

In the 2010 cycle, Wisconsin’s legislature passed a congressional plan (SB 149) and state legislative plan (SB 148) on July 20, 2011, which were signed by the Governor on Aug. 9, 2011. On Mar. 22, 2012, a federal court struck two state Assembly districts under the Voting Rights Act; the court adopted a remedial plan for those two districts on Apr. 11, 2012.

On January 27, 2020, the Governor created the People’s Maps Commission, a nonpartisan redistricting commission comprised of 9 citizens of Wisconsin. The Commission’s purpose is to conduct hearings across the state of Wisconsin and use the input from those who testify to draw and submit maps to the Legislature to vote on in 2021."

Like all states, Wisconsin must comply with constitutional equal population requirements and must abide by the Voting Rights Act and constitutional rules on race.

The Wisconsin constitution further requires that state legislative districts be in as compact form as practicable, and that they be bounded by county, precinct, town, or ward lines where possible. The state constitution also requires that state legislative districts be contiguous. [Wis. Const. art. IV, §§ 4-5]

Also, state Assembly districts must be nested within state Senate districts, so that each Senate district is made up of three Assembly districts. [Wis. Const. art. IV, § 5; Wis. Stat. § 4.001]" https://redistricting.lls.edu/state/wisconsin/?cycle=2020&level=Congress&startdate=

Quoting Barack Hussein Obama-- former president, "Elections have consequences."

Wisconsin does not need a commission to draw district lines. We have enough laws to ensure fairness when Legislatures redraw the districts. Bi-partisanship is just another word for 'we lost but give us our way anyway'. If the districts were gerrymandered how on earth did Democrat Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin win? The commission will be non-partisan just like Judges are non-partisan! They are very partisan.

Adam Umbreit

Sallie, EVERYONE KNOWS that Republicans can only win by cheating. Trump even said so! When you have a single party majority in the Legislature, a Governor working in cahoots with the majority Legislature (Scott Walker), and a majority of the State Supreme Court Justices in the pocket of your legislatures dark campaign money group, you can pretty much get whatever you want done. I guess that pesky little hard drive that Thomas Brooks Hofeller's daughter shared to the world that fully described a country-wide Gerrymandering plan was a load of garbage? We all know Gerrymandering is in full affect and that Republicans RIGHT NOW in Texas, Georgia, Florida, and many others are working hard to make it harder to vote. Your foolish words are fooling no one Sallie.

Carol Cate

Sallie Helmer, you really are a tiresome person....all of your postings show little or no original thought. I really think that FB page Ripon Uncensored is your place as there you can preach to your small choir. So sad Sallie, that you choose to keep responding to comments just so you can fill up the time in your day. God bless you Sallie and I would hope you would find something constructive to do with your time such as volunteering your time in places such as Ripon Medical Center or your local schools or your local library. I think if you came into contact with people who had different thoughts, you might actually benefit from such contacts. Give it a try, Dear!

Sallie Helmer

I am volunteering. Thank you for your concern.

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