Regular readers of The Daily Tissue know that we regularly gripe about the editorial page of the Wisconsin State Journal. So when they do something authentically GOOD with that editorial page, we need to acknowledge it. And they did something good on Sunday with their call for at least a hearing on assembly and senate bills (AB 185 & SB 163) to replace the disgraceful, self-serving practice of legislators redrawing crazy-quilt voting districts to keep themselves in power.
Just a month ago we mocked a State Journal editorial that called for this same redistricting reform, because we figured it was a one-time silly plea to the Republican majorities to stop doing what they really, really, really want to do, and instead do the right thing. And also, too, because the Assembly leader Robin Vos (R-Rochester) had already told the WSJ editorial board directly, face to face, quote,
“It’s not gonna happen.”
So what’s different and GOOD about Sunday’s State Journal editorial calling for the same reform?
- They came back and hit it again.
- They’re calling for just a small, specific action — public hearings on the bills.
- They came back with allies. Seven other state newspapers (plus one TV station) are simultaneously calling for the same thing.
Now, we don’t think those public hearings are ever going to happen. And we REALLY don’t think the current Republican majorities will voluntarily cede their redistricting power. They’re working assiduously in the opposite direction, doing all they can to consolidate their own electoral safety, from voter ID, to secret redistricting, to smashing the state employee unions, and doubling the max campaign limits for individuals.
So we think it’s great that the State Journal is sticking with it, and doing it with allies. But it’s all premised on the notion that the majorities in that big building downtown hold on to some value that could trump their own self-interest.
Do they? We see no evidence. Time will tell. We hope we’re wrong.