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Kind urges veto of redistricting plan

July 28, 2011
In The News

Wisconsin Public Radio

A Wisconsin Congressman says he’s disappointed in the reconfiguration of his district and is calling on Governor Scott Walker to veto the plan.  U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) says he’s disappointed in the redistricting process, which was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature this week with little input from Democrats or the general public. He says it’s the classic definition of politicians “choosing their voters” and the state needs to move away from the process.

Kind is advocating a switch that would have a non-partisan judicial panel determine new Legislative and Congressional districts, rather than having the Legislature draw the maps.

Kind says it should have been a relatively simple process to subtract 19,000 voters from the 3rd District to make it comparable in size to others. Instead, he says it became an effort to help Republicans maintain control of the 7th District in 2012.

Kind says such redistricting leads to more polarized candidates and congressmen, and he believes the public is getting tired of it. He says people want competitive districts where politicians have to work with differing viewpoints. For example, Kind says he currently has to moderate his political positions to represent Hudson-area Republicans.

The Western Wisconsin Congressman says one of the changes he does not like is the removal of St. Croix County from his district. The GOP plan transfers it to the 7th District, which is currently represented by Republican Sean Duffy.

Kind says the plan also ruins the traditional geographical and cultural integrity of his district that is based around the St. Croix, Mississippi and Coulee Valleys.

Kind says Governor Walker should veto the maps, and then work with lawmakers to come up with a plan that both sides can agree on.