Proposed redistricting map would change northern Congressional mapDemocrats are crying foul over an alleged plan to change the boundaries of North Central Wisconsin's Seventh Congressional district.
By: Glen Moberg, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Democrats are crying foul over an alleged plan to change the boundaries of North Central Wisconsin's Seventh Congressional district. The new map would reportedly make the district more Republican in order to protect freshman congressman Sean Duffy.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel column, the map was reportedly crafted by Republican Congressman Paul Ryan to remove three Democratic strongholds from the district: Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids and Chippewa Falls, which is in the backyard of Duffy’s opponent, former state Senator Pat Kreitlow.
“It takes out thousands of friends and neighbors of mine, leaves my house in the Seventh District,” he says. “They were cynical enough to also take out Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point, cities that have been in the same congressional district for exactly 100 years."
The Democratic strongholds are replaced by Republican St. Croix County. Former Seventh District Republican congressional candidate Kevin Hermening says the district's boundaries needed to be redrawn because of population shifts, and with Republicans in power, it's not surprising that they would be redrawn to the party's advantage.
"This is what parties do all the time,” he says. “ I didn't see Pat Kreitlow objecting to some of the changes that protected his former Senate seat in prior elections."
Hermening notes that the new map takes part of the district out of the Wausau television market, which will force Kreitlow to spend more on advertising.
Kreitlow says the new map shows that Duffy is in trouble because of his vote for the Paul Ryan budget.
"Sean Duffy can run but he can't hide,” he says. “A bad redistricting map is not going to save Sean Duffy from a vote to destroy Medicare as we know it."
Congressman Duffy did not return our phone calls or e-mails in time for this story. A spokesman for state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says there is no plan to include the alleged new map in this week's budget bill, but would not comment on whether it would be considered before the August recall elections.