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Abuse of Power

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Associated Press: Wisconsin Republicans push redistricting plan to head off adverse court ruling

The higher vote requirement is a critical component of any redistricting change, said Jay Heck, director of Common Cause Wisconsin. The plan the Assembly is voting on was unveiled at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. There was no public hearing, and Democrats and advocates say they were not consulted in the drafting of the bill. “It’s not serious," Heck said. "This is an act of desperation to head off the Supreme Court from redrawing the maps. ... It just doesn’t pass the smell test on any level.”

Mother Jones: Wisconsin Republicans Are Taking Desperate Steps to Subvert Fair Elections in 2024

“Going back to 2011, there is such a long laundry list of pretty amazing things that they’ve done,” says Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin. “And it’s almost like, what else could they do? And then they come up with something like this.” If the legislature rejects the maps drawn by the Legislative Reference Bureau, nonpartisan staff who work for the legislature, on two occasions, Republicans will have the power to draw their own partisan maps, which Heck says is “absolutely” Vos’ goal. Vos introduced the proposal Tuesday with no advance warning and the legislature plans to pass it on Thursday.  “The fact that Vos felt compelled to introduce this measure without consultation with any reform organizations like Common Cause Wisconsin and with no Democratic support and to immediately bring it to the floor of the Assembly without a public hearing or discussion is indicative of the disingenuous nature of this political stunt,” Heck wrote in email.

Associated Press: GOP legislative leaders’ co-chair flap has brought the Ohio Redistricting Commission to a standstill

“The Ohio Redistricting Commission isn’t functional,” said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, a good government group, adding that bodes poorly for the creation of fair maps. “If you can’t hear one another, you’re going to have trouble hearing the community, and hearing the folks that come to testify,” she said.



The proposal, if approved, will result in the commissioners “micromanaging things” that have long been in the OGC’s purview, said Stephen Spaulding, vice president of policy and external affairs at Common Cause, who served as a special counsel to a former Democratic FEC commissioner from May 2016 to May 2017. “It will slow investigations down and ultimately leaves the law unenforced, if they’re tied up in having meetings about whether the nonpartisan attorneys in the Office of General Counsel can even bring in another witness.”

Axios: Ohio redistricting fight resumes this week

What they're saying: Catherine Turcer, executive director of the government watchdog group Common Cause Ohio, says the reforms of 2015 and 2018 were not enough to keep partisan officials from being "drunk on power." "What we've learned is it's not enough to have good rules in the Ohio Constitution," she tells Axios. "We need independent mapmakers who aren't influenced by loyalty to party."

Associated Press: Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates often speak out on hot topics. Only one faces impeachment threat

“It’s self-serving, selective outrage,” Jay Heck, director of Common Cause of Wisconsin, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, said of impeachment. “Where was their outrage and their demands for recusal when conservatives in the past have weighed in about their values?”

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