DuWayne Severson claimed in his Tuesday letter that we are “wasting valuable taxpayer money talking about redistricting.’’ He didn’t explain how discussing fair elections wastes money. He didn’t acknowledge that legally we must redistrict in 2021. Discussion first seems advisable.
Mr. Severson is running for the 44th Assembly District seat. His position on redistricting opposes what most district voters believe. Just last month, Rock County residents voted 28,014 to 6,738 in favor of having a nonpartisan panel draw fair maps.
Counties and municipalities throughout Wisconsin have approved referendums to establish nonpartisan redistricting. Many of those referendums, including Rock County’s, were approved by 80% margins. A solid majority of state Republican voters favors fair maps.
Mr. Severson’s position disrespects representative government. During the last Assembly election, Democrats received 53% of votes and 33% of Assembly seats. The present system violates the one person one vote principle of representative government and raises questions about the legitimacy of our Legislature and its actions.
The Legislature has ignored the public will repeatedly because there is no electoral penalty for choosing campaign contributors over the people.
Mr. Severson wants to concentrate on pocketbook issues. Here is one: The Legislature recently forfeited $25 million in federal unemployment funds when it failed to act on time. That waste of resources is a mistake that legislators fearful of losing an election might have avoided.
The present system does not serve the people. Mr. Severson should be leading the fight to fix it.