Petitions Seek Fair Election Maps, Less Money In Politics

Jul 29, 2019

Tom Jerow(left) with City Clerk Val Foley
Credit Tom Jerow

The Rhinelander City Council will be asked to consider backing two petitions citizens have circulated concerning elections and political boundaries.

The Fair Elections Project (Fair Maps) referendum addresses gerrymandering through the creation of a nonpartisan procedure for preparing legislative and congressional redistricting maps.

Using the Iowa redistricting model, maps are drawn by a non-partisan commission with intent to create maps that are balanced and neutral. The second petition is a non-partisan effort to overturn Citizens United and related Supreme Court decisions that opponents feel has tainted the political process with mountains of money from special interests.

One of the circulators is Tom Jerow of Rhinelander who says they got 100 more signatures per petition than the required 441 to bring it forward for the ballot in April of 2020.

He says the goal is to bring back elections with fair maps and less money in politics..

"..People were amazing when we were knocking on doors. I've done a lot of campaigning and canvassing of people and this was the most non-partisan thing. I had both conservative and liberal people signing the ballot. Everybody wanted to talk about it.(They) were supportive of changing our process to make it more democratic..."

Jerow says the next steps are for the Rhinelander City Clerk to verify the signatures, then send proposed resolution and ballot language to the Rhinelander City Council for action -tentatively scheduled for Monday, August 12th.