Gov. Walker: Critics' argument in gerrymandering case 'woefully ignorant'

By Rebecca Cardenas, WSAW News 

Governor Scott Walker said Monday the argument Wisconsin lawmakers' redistricting plan gave republicans an advantage in the 2016 election is invalid.

During a stop at G.D. Jones Elementary School in Wausau, the governor called the criticism "woefully ignorant." "If your argument is the maps are unfair, it should only happen once," he said. He used the vote in urban areas like Milwaukee and Madison as an example: "I don’t care how you draw the maps there, they’re always going to win by big margins," Walker said.

He went on to say once you leave the state's metropolitan areas, it's more competitive across the state. "The maps were in place and republicans gained seats in ‘12, ‘14, and '16," he said. "The reason they won, and they've added seats in the legislature, is because common sense conservative reform works."

Walker said in the end, he believes the plan will be upheld by the US Supreme Court. "I didn’t write the plan," he said. "The legislature did. But we had our attorneys look through it before we signed it and it very clearly upheld all the criteria that the courts have done in previous [decades] when the legislature was split."

Democratic Representative Katrina Shankland told NewsChannel7 she believes voters are being taken advantage of and that it's time they be represented fairly.

"The only things that I see as woefully ignorant is republicans rigging the game, writing their own rules to benefit themselves and then blaming other people. Instead we need fair maps that don't benefit any political party and voters should choose their representatives not the other way around," explained Shankland.

The Supreme Court announced Monday morning it will take up the most important gerrymandering case in more than a decade.

The case involves district lines in Wisconsin that challengers say were drawn unconstitutionally to benefit Republicans. The case could have a major impact on how district lines are drawn up nationwide.