Thursday, February 16, 2012

Secret Republican Documents Reveal They Orchestrated Public Testimony in Gerrymandering

The Journal Sentinel has inspected the 84 documents that Republicans fought tooth-and-nail to keep secret, now that they were made public today when the Republicans were "slammed" by three judges for their secrecy.

The Journal Sentinel's inspection of the documents shows "among other things, that those who drew the maps orchestrated the testimony in favor of the maps for a public hearing that occurred just after they were made available publicly."

"The records provide an inside view on the process Republicans used to draw the maps and show the testimony in favor of the maps was largely orchestrated by those who drew the maps. They recruited people to testify and supplied them with talking points."

Wisconsin Republican leadership was able to keep these secret in part through intimidation of their peers.

Last year, Republicans rudely denied any plans to draw new maps in secret.
'“You talked to Democrats who ‘think’ that Republican leaders have these grand plots,” Andrew Welhouse, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, says in an email response to questions about GOP plans. “I guess I’ll leave it up to your journalistic standards if their motivated speculation is worth reporting on.”'
Update: (7:16pm) The Journal Sentinel has updated their page with additional information.

From the Journal Sentinel, "The redistricting team considered forcing some senators who were not up for re-election in 2014 to go through special elections in 2012, the emails show. They did not pursue that plan after determining it might violate the state and federal constitutions."

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