Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Could Walker Have Used Redistricting as a Stick to Keep Wisconsin Senate Democrats in Madison?

Bookmark and Share

Here's a hypothetical question.

What if Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had proceeded earlier this month with the state budget deficit-aiding components to his plan that would require state employees to contribute to their pensions and increase payments to their health-care premiums, but had temporarily tabled his proposal to eliminate some of the collective bargaining rights for governmental employees?

For example, what if Walker had waited until after the federal government had delivered all the census data necessary for the redistricting process to begin?

Could Walker have used redistricting as a stick to keep Wisconsin Senate Democrats at the Capitol?

Wisconsin's redistricting process is like most states in the nation in that the responsibility for redrawing congressional and legislative district lines lies with the legislature.

All 50 states receive their 2010 Census Redistricting Data [P.L. 94-171] in February and early March of this year, with a final federal delivery deadline of April 1, 2011.

To date, 21 states have received their redistricting data - including neighboring Iowa and Illinois - but not Wisconsin.

Five states are scheduled to receive their data next week: Delaware, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Wyoming.

Once Wisconsin receives its files, the data will be aggregated into ward boundaries and then disseminated to each of the Badger State's 72 counties - likely in late March or April.

While the legislative database would not normally be created until much later in the year (around October), with plans drawn up in November and votes on final plans in January 2012, the state could take steps to somewhat expedite that process.

Governor Walker has thus far been unsuccessful in his public appeals to bring back the 14 absent Democratic Senators from their various out-of-state hideaways in Illinois.

Because Walker acted swiftly on the collective bargaining issue by folding it into his budget plan, we'll therefore likely never know the answer to this question:

Would Senate Democrats have left the state in the first instance if they knew Wisconsin's new legislative and congressional district maps could be created and voted on without any of their input?

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Strange Bedfellows: The Curious Case of Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin
Next post: Republican Women 2010 U.S. House Voting Record Most Conservative in History

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

Does My Key Still Work?

Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting