Okay, llet's be honest. Gerryymandering is an American tradition. Whatever party is in power has always tried to gain the upper hand by organizing congressional districts to suit their needs. Packing and cracking of districts has happened for a very long time, and it helps to keep the winning party in power over the long term.
But something has changed. The ability to use computer power to set district boundaries (and the will to use them for that purpose) has resulted in districts in Wisconsin that make it next to impossible for party power to change in the local district. We see it time after time. Good challenging candidates just lose because surmounting the party bias in their own home area is impossible.
Something needs to change because if it does not we will continue to go down this road of perpetual power for Republicans in Wisconsin, which frankly is not good for any of us. I think many of us have had the experience of having our representatives and senators just not give a damn what we say, or care about, simply because they know their seat is safe. I'm tired of it, and I'd guess if you are reading this your are tired of it too.
Wisconsin's mapping is going to be heard by the Supreme Court. The court has for years suggested that perhaps political gerrymandering is illegal if it provides for unfair districting that keeps a party in power - but it's never been clear what the line is that needs to be crossed. Wisconsin has some of the most unfair political boundaries in the country due to secretive work done by the Republicans after the last census. Fortunately a lot of work has gone into developing an objective measure of party unfairness, and Wisconsin gets high marks for inequality. So - the Supreme Court is going to be hearing the case brought in Wisconsin.
Thursday night in Eau Claire there's a great opportunity to learn more about this. There will be a Fair Maps Town Hall at 6 PM on the 22nd. Learn about how we can have fair maps in Wisconsin and throughout the country, and why it is important. It's also a chance to express your opinion on what you think should be done. Details and a signup are at this link.