Video: Editorial board grills Vos over refusal to hold hearing on redistricting

Are you up for a real stomach churner? If not, then do NOT go to the very end of this video which features Rep. Robin Vos being told, “You’re – you know. An honorable guy.”

It’s the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board grilling Rep. Robin Vos over the fact that he refuses to allow a public hearing on redistricting DESPITE appeals for reform from the editorial boards of numerous Wisconsin newspapers including

Wisconsin State Journal,
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
Green Bay Press-Gazette,
Appleton Post-Crescent,
Beloit Daily News,
La Crosse Tribune,
Chippewa Herald,
Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune,
Oshkosh Northwestern,
Janesville Gazette,
and WISC-TV.

Vos says that a hearing on redistricting should not happen because he likes the system just the way it is.
(A process which includes secrecy agreements, hiding hard drives and documents from the court, ruining hard drives before finally submitting them to the court, etc. etc. yada yada)

Also, Vos says “We already know the arguments on both sides”.

The person asking most of the questions in this is unseen but I’m guessing it’s Scott Milfred, the editorial board director of Wisconsin State Journal.

I was sitting there feeling sickly and wondering why Milfred is badgering Vos as if he really cares about this. Then comes the reveal: Dane County conservatives are angry they lost out on the county board. Oh. Well THAT can NOT stand. NOW it’s time for Milfred to get REALLY alarmed. You’d think he would’ve been up in arms three years ago when the streets were full and the Capitol Building was under occupation but those were, I guess, just unionists to him and the paper that endorses Scott Walker.

From the 4:55 mark –

Board: “Here in Dane County it’s the conservatives that are complaining about it. [A.K.A. the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board] I don’t know if you read our editorial this morning. (Vos says no)

Well the conservatives that are complaining about it because the liberals on the county board put them in the same districts. They put two of the – and so now guess what. There’s fewer of them on the board. [crosstalk]
So we in Dane County have less of a – EVEN less – of a conservative voice lookin’ at the bottom line on our county budget because of redistricting.

Vos: Well why don’t you get the county board to try it first.

Board: WE ARE. That’s what the editorial said.

Vos: Well let’s see if they do it first.

Board: Well, will ya give us a hearing then if they do it?

Vos: If they change their process so that it’s non-partisan at the county level?

Board: Yes. You’ll guarantee me a hearing. [laughter off camera]

I won’t guarantee it but I would definitely consider it.

[obvious edit cut in the video]

Vos: I just believe that the legislature are the people elected to draw the maps. We’re the ones who are accountable. If people were upset about the way the maps were drawn we would not have won election.

2nd Board Member: Do you believe the maps are not drawn to favor the party in power.

Vos: Yeah. I believe that the maps were drawn fairly. [crosstalk] Yeah. They meet all the qualifications.

Now paraphrasing:
Board then says documents that came from lawyers said “these districts would improve for Republicans”. (Not sure how to interpret that statement.)
Vos then says that the map making process is arbitrary no matter who does it.

Back to transcribing:
At the 6:25 mark:

Board: OK. We have the public hearing for hair dying, for the cream puff bill – but all this drum beat and maybe you dismiss most of it as made up – but – we can’t have a public hearing. That just seems ridiculous to me. Especially from YOU, I mean you’re… [cross talk] You’re – you know. An honorable guy.

Vos: I will, again, consider it.

This is where I’ll throw in alerts for two important and interesting upcoming redistricting events. I know the topic of redistricting often doubles as a sleep aid, BUT I ask the reader to keep in mind that Senator Dale Schultz will be attending these events and he has, as of late, let loose biting commentary regarding the degradation of the political process in Wisconsin. I’m sure there’s more where that came from.

Despite Robin Vos’ recalcitrance there will be an alternative hearing on redistricting held at 10AM on Monday Feb. 10 Room 411-South of the State Capitol Building.

“State Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) and State Senator Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) will hear invited testimony from experts from Iowa — where non-partisan redistricting has been in effect since 1981.” Read more at Common Cause.

You can ask Scott Milfred why he thinks Rep. Robin Vos is an “honorable” man in person if you come to “What Ever Happened to Good Government in Wisconsin? And How Can We Fix It?”

Milfred will serve as moderator of the event. On the panel will be
State Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center)
State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison)
Andrea Kaminski, Executive Director – League of Women Voters of Wisconsin
Political Science Professor Steven Davis of Edgewood College
and CC/WI Executive Director Jay Heck

Monday, February 17, 2014
6:30 – 8:00 PM
Edgewood College
Anderson Auditorium
1000 Edgewood College Drive
Madison, Wisconsin

Lastly, a tip of the hat to Retiring Guy Digest is in order for turning me on to this editorial with the post “The Wisconsin State Journal Editorial Board Throws a Hissy Fit”. Retiring Guy provides details on other WI counties where there is also a “paucity of challengers”.


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