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What Do Rigged Elections Really Look Like?

Posted by John N. Powers, Wittenberg
John N. Powers, Wittenberg
John N. Powers, Wittenberg, a Vietnam Veteran, has his Bachelor's and Master's d
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on Monday, 24 October 2016 in Wisconsin

capitol-nightPower to draw new legislative district boundaries after 2010 election gave GOP 60% of State Assembly seats with only 46% of the votes and resulted in restrictive voter ID laws, environmental laws written by corporate lobbyists, John Doe changes to protect politicians and attacks on labor.

WITTENBERG, WI - You want to talk about rigged elections? Look no further than Wisconsin. Five years ago, Republicans in Madison spent two million taxpayer dollars in secret meetings to approve new legislative district boundaries. These elected officials were not involved in deciding on the new boundaries, they were simply given the new maps-after they signed an oath not to discuss the maps with the pubic that had elected them. The new district boundaries had immediate results in the 2012 election. There were 1.4 million Democratic votes cast that year and 1.2 million Republican votes. Yet Republicans won 60 of the 99 Assembly seats while the Democrats won only 39. That means Democrats cast 54% of the votes but won only 40% of the elections. Gerrymandering at its best-and worst.

The federal judges in the lawsuit that resulted from this process said “the people of Wisconsin deserve better.” What the people of Wisconsin got was hundreds of millions of dollars cut from public education, hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks for corporations, a state jobs agency that catered to political donors, some of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the nation, environmental laws written by corporate lobbyists, John Doe changes that protect politicians in Madison (and only them) from being investigated for bribery or corruption, a mandate that sex education in our schools teach abstinence only, and attacks on labor. That is just the short list. Republicans even eliminated language in state law that said workers should receive wages that provide for an adequate standard of living.

These changes were not made at the request of Wisconsin voters. They were taken by Republicans from the playbook of the American Legislative Exchange Council. A former Republican state senator, who was there, said our legislators were “pawns awaiting bills written by special interests.”

This is what rigged elections look like. And this is the direction Wisconsin will continue to take unless we vote out of office the very people who rigged the elections in the first place. We don’t even have to meet in secret to do so. Let’s just pick a day to meet in public to cast our votes. How about November 8th?

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John N. Powers, Wittenberg, a Vietnam Veteran, has his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from UW-Stevens Point and 31 years teaching experience in Shawano county schools. He is a Candidate for Wisconsin's 2nd Senate seat. You can find out more about John Powers for State Senate on FaceBook or at


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