/ Letters / Local non-partisan organizations working hard

Local non-partisan organizations working hard

April 17, 2020

To the Editor:

Local volunteers with two statewide non-partisan organizations have worked hard to give voters in 17 Northwoods municipalities a chance to say “yes” or “no” to two questions on their April 7 ballot. These two non-binding referenda questions are a form of direct democracy in that voters’ opinions are officially tallied.

The non-partisan Fair Elections Project was co-founded several years ago by two former senators, Republican Dale Schultz and Democrat Tim Cullen. As co-chairs, both senators crisscrossed Wisconsin talking about the need for a non-partisan process for district map drawing. Currently, whichever political party is in control at census time controls the map drawing, generally yielding a weighted result for a district commonly called gerrymandering.

Representative Jeff Mursau, a Republican from our neighboring 36th Senate District, asked his constituents if they thought creating a new redistricting procedure was a good or bad idea. The proposed procedure would direct the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau to draw the maps. His published results were 78% good idea, 16% bad idea and 6% didn’t know.

The other non-partisan organization, United to Amend, formed 10 years ago to call for overturning a U.S. Supreme Court Ruling commonly known as Citizens United. The Citizens United decision can be undone by amending the U.S. Constitution to say that corporations, unions and political action committees (pacs) are not human entities and their money is not speech. The Court’s 5-4 decision ruled that such entities did have the same rights as people  thus undoing the donation/spending limits of the McCain-Feingold bill. Polling consistently shows that 80% of Republicans and 83% of Democrats opposed the Court ruling. 

Diane Muri

Boulder Junction   

Rollie Alger


Sue and Al Drum

Presque Isle 

Quita Sheehan 




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