MADISON (WSAU-Wheeler News) A new push will be made today for a more objective process in the way Wisconsin handles redistricting. Outgoing state Senate Democrat Tim Cullen of Janesville and moderate Senate Republican Dale Schultz of Richland Center will hold a news conference on their ideas of redistricting reform. They'll be joined by Common Cause board member and former lawmaker Dave Martin, and long-time G-O-P political strategist Bill Kraus.
Government watchdogs and minority parties have long called for changes in the way Wisconsin re-draws its state legislative and U-S House district boundaries. Right now the Legislature handles the process, which is done every 10 years after a new Census is completed. Both parties have long refused to give up their redistricting power over the years, seeing it as a possible way to gain an edge in elections for a decade. Critics also say it shares part of the blame for today's political polarization, by letting lawmakers present more extreme views without having to worry about offending dwindling numbers of opposing voters in their districts.