Proposed Wisconsin redistricting shakes up 3rd districtWisconsin Republicans released their proposed congressional redistricting map Friday, which was met almost immediately with Democrats' cries of partisanship.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Wisconsin Republicans released their proposed congressional redistricting map Friday, which was met almost immediately with Democrats' cries of partisanship.
Among other changes, the proposed plan would add a section of central Wisconsin to Rep. Ron Kind's 3rd District, absorbing parts of the current 6th and 7th districts.
The 3rd District traditionally has hugged the Mississippi and current extends from La Crosse to Hudson. The proposed configuration would stop at Piece County and dogleg through Tomah to include Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point.
Kind, a Democrat, criticized the plan and called it an "incumbent protection map."
"I am especially troubled by the manipulation of expected outcomes and the gerrymandering drawn into the 3rd and 7th congressional districts," he said in a statement Friday.
He said the new map "goes so far as to dilute our communities," citing the breakup of towns that have been in the same district for more than 100 years.
Kind also called the process partisan and said he and other Democrats played virtually no role in the process. He called for a system like Iowa's, in which a judicial commission redraws the lines.
In the last three rounds of redistricting, the courts have had to hash out Wisconsin's maps since legislators weren't able to agree.
Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca echoed Kind's concerns and accused Republicans of drawing up the plan in secret.
"The Republican legislative leaders are acting in their own self-interest and not in the best interests of the people of Wisconsin," he said in a statement.
State Republican legislators likely will push for a vote next week, before recall elections that could shift control.
In Senate District 10, Sen. Shelia Harsdorf will face off against the winner of Tuesday's Democratic primary. The recall election was pushed to Aug. 9 after known Republican Isaac Weix joined Democrat Shelly Moore in the race.
Government entities must examine districts after every census to ensure each district has an equal population. Wisconsin gained more than 320,000 people since the 2000 census, so some district changes are necessary. However, while Wisconsin lost a House seat after the 2000 census, this year it retained its eight representatives.