Legislature’s Website Deliberately Giving Wrong Answers on “Who Represents Me?”

The Republican-led Wisconsin Legislature passed absurdly gerrymandered legislative redistricting maps earlier this summer. The changes are being challenged in federal court and have a better than average chance of being found unconstitutional, but even if the flawed redistricting plan is upheld by the courts, it is not set to go into effect until the November, 2012 general election.

If that’s the case, then why did the legislature’s web page change recently to list the future districts (which the courts will very likely not allow) as “current” districts?

Here’s the image that popped up when I entered my address on the “Who Represents Me?” function linked on the legislature’s home page:

So, am I currently represented by Sondy Pope-Roberts, as listed under the “Current” district maps? Well, no. My representative is Kelda Helen Roys. What they list as “previous” is actually the current map.

This is an intentional effort on the part of Republican legislative leaders to confuse constituents. But why? The most obvious explanation for this deliberate slap at the integrity of our democracy is that four Republican Senators are facing recall elections. Petition circulators are ahead of their goals in collecting signatures in all four of those districts. The website has been configured to mislead potential petition signers and confuse the volunteers who are collecting the signatures. Plain and simple.

The Republicans first tried changing their own redistricting law a few weeks ago to make it effective immediately but moderate Republican Dale Schultz sided with Democrats and stopped that plan in its tracks. The Republican leaders also tried twisting the arms of the Government Accountability Board to get them to declare that the recall elections should happen in the “new” districts. The GAB said no.

Now, they are filing and withdrawing various lawsuits and changing lawyers to try to get some court somewhere to approve their attempt to change the rules in the middle of the game. So, until they can find a judge to give them the nod, they have decided to flat-out lie to their constituents.

If you are a resident of Wisconsin and you use the official government website to find out who represents you in the Wisconsin legislature, it’s quite possible you will get the wrong answer. On purpose. Go ahead. Try it.

The Republican sneak vote mapped.

From the Acceity web journal

Here’s the vote from last Friday February 25 mapped out by Josh Wachuta at Aceity.

I’m assuming the grey non-voting areas are matched with the Democrats who were too slow on the uptake. As you recall, this was a sneak voice vote that occured in seconds. It was orchestrated by Republicans to deliberately exclude Democrats.  It passed the Assembly version of Walker’s “Budget Repair Bill” at 1AM after a 60+ hour marathon session.

Here’s the vote roll. If you’re still not sure which of these men and ladies represent you in your district, plug your address into Who Are My Legislators?

If you’re not happy with how your Assembly Representative voted, give ’em a piece of your mind. Godspeed.

Here’s Josh’s twitter home.

At 1AM Friday February 25, Assembly Republicans Pass Budget Bill with Seconds-long Roll Call Vote.

Video of Assembly Democrats outraged following sneak vote:

and the same moment from David Douglas of News 3:

From the New York Times: “…Debate had gone on for 60 hours and 15 Democrats were still waiting to speak when the vote started around 1 a.m. Friday. Speaker Pro Tem Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, opened the roll and closed it within seconds.

Democrats looked around, bewildered. Only 13 of the 38 Democratic members managed to vote in time.

Republicans immediately marched out of the chamber in single file. The Democrats rushed at them, pumping their fists and shouting “Shame!” and “Cowards!”

The Republicans walked past them without responding.

Democrats left the chamber stunned. The protesters greeted them with a thundering chant of “Thank you!” Some Democrats teared up. Others hugged.

“What a terrible, terrible day for Wisconsin,” said Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee. “I am incensed. I am shocked.”…”

Feb 24: Noon Vote, Firefighters, Koch Brothers, Amy Goodman

Forgive me for this is a post dashed off quickly. But I want to make sure people know about these events of note for today:

11:30-ish A much-rumored huge gathering of fire fighters will occur at Wisconsin’s capitol. I did call a local firehouse to be told only that it was fairly spontaneous and will be large. Firemen will met at Station Number 1 – 316 W. Dayton St. – 11:30am & following, march two short blocks to the Capitol.

12 Noon- The projected time of an Assembly vote on their version of the earlier Senate version of the Budget Repair [or “Disrepair”] Bill that was the cause of an earlier departure of our 14 Democrat Senators for Illinois.  You can watch events unfold live at Wisconsin Eye – a non-profit “CSPAN” for Wisconsin. Continue reading