Minnesota needs to eliminate gerrymandering now to prevent what happened in Wisconsin

A majority of state governments right now are totally controlled by one party.  I think I heard 24 states are controlled by Republican Legislatures and Governors and 16 states are controlled by Democratic Governors and Legislatures, Minnesota is now one of those states.  Our country is so politically divided, that it seems the only way government works is if one party controls everything.

While Minnesota is controlled by DFLers, across the border in Wisconsin, Republicans recaptured total control.  With two states that are so similar, what is the difference? One word, gerrymandering.

In 2010, Republicans controlled everything, and drew new lines to help them win seats.  Minnesota’s lines were drawn by nonpartisan judges.  A couple weeks ago, Wisconsin voted for Barack Obama, even though a native son was on the ballot for the Republicans.  Wisconsin also elected a Democrat to the senate in Tammy Baldwin, over a former popular Republican governor.  Yet, the State House is controlled by Republicans with a 20 vote margin, and the State Senate is controlled, narrowly, but controlled by Republicans.

Gerrymandering has always been a tool to maintain power, and Wisconsin in 2012 is a prime example.  That’s why Minnesota needs to eliminate one party’s ability to gerrymander, and instead establish a fair and nonpartisan board to redraw district lines after the census every ten years.

Establishing a nonpartisan board would eliminate a lot of useless chatter, eliminate a lot of wasted time legislators should be working to make Minnesota better, and ultimately save taxpayers money.  So many Republicans used the phrase” it is just common-sense” to pass voter ID amendment.  That wasn’t common-sense, it was completely political and partisan.  If we change this procedure, neither side benefits from this, and neither side loses from this.  That is exactly what common-sense is.

Let your Minnesota legislators know that you want to take redistricting duties away from a political body and make it a nonpartisan practice.

One thought on “Minnesota needs to eliminate gerrymandering now to prevent what happened in Wisconsin”

  1. Great observation … and if should also be noted that more than one million voters votes (about 1%) were the difference in the US House contests … with the Democrats prevailing … yet, the House only moved eight seats. Interestingly, in 2010 (pre-redistricting) the popular vote was a swing of more than 6%, which was 53.5% R, 46.5% D when the Republicans made their big pick-up.

    BTW … former Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe and former Speaker of the House Steve Sviggum were in favor of the independent panel but that got nowhere.

    Another area that I think needs to change is the appointment in the event of a US Senate vacancy … (remember when Dean Barkley was appointed after Paul Wellstone’s death … I lived in fear that something would happen to Amy Klobuchar during Pawlenty’s tenure and that Minnesota would be represented by Senator Bachmann … or worse yet, Senator Kline).
    If a Representative seat is vacant, a Special Election is held … the same should be done for US Senate seats.

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