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.