The Play Typer Guy
The Play Typer Guy Podcast
The Fight For Democracy Begins In Wisconsin
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The Fight For Democracy Begins In Wisconsin

With Jamie Lynn Crofts!
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Transcript

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Voting advocate Jamie Lynn Crofts joins me to discuss some promising developments in Wisconsin — goodbye forever, gerrymandered maps! We also explore the outsized role Wisconsin plays in the presidential election and why we’re cautiously optimistic that the purple state will reject Donald Trump again. It’s a good time, so pull up a comfy chair and enjoy!

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Transcribed excerpts from our discussion:

Wisconsin is no longer a gerrymandered hellhole

SER: So what happened [with the maps]?

Jamie Lynn Crofts: The briefest of overviews of the last year in Wisconsin is that we had our wonderful state Supreme Court election in April where Justice [Protasiewicz] kicked ass and pretty soon after she was sworn into the Wisconsin Supreme Court, officially cementing the flip there.

There were lawsuits filed against our mega gerrymandered state legislative maps.

There was some fun infighting there where at first Republicans were threatening to impeach her for winning an election and still hearing cases because that's not something that justices are supposed to do but they quickly gave up on that when they realized how popular she was and just kind of the idea of their maps are in Wisconsin and blah, blah, blah, boring litigation stuff.

Jumping forward several months, a few weeks ago, there were some expert reports that the state Supreme Court had, you know, had ordered and got back and basically you know they said here are a handful of maps that like the court should still consider these these handful of maps are not gerrymandered all of the submissions from the Republicans in the legislature and the conservative law firm were gerrymanders and they should not be in consideration

It was pretty clear that that was how things were going to go but after it finally happened the Republicans started to panic a little bit and realized that not changing their gerrymandered maps after being ordered to by the court was not a smart litigation strategy and in kind of a stunning turn of events passed maps that our Democratic Gov. Tony Evers had submitted to the court …

It had been rumored, but also just happened kind of suddenly out of nowhere. And then governor's maps were back on his desk. There was a lot of speculation about whether he was going to or whether he should sign his own maps. And [last] Monday he did.

SER: And these are Democrats. These are fair maps.

JAMIE: Right, right, so like you know there was quite a bit of like infighting in between the time the maps were passed and the governor signed them um within democrats about whether he should sign his maps because um and you know from a standpoint of wanting to win elected office in Wisconsin like yeah there were maps before the court that were still fair that were not gerrymanders but that would have been friendlier for democrats for various reasons uh than the governor's maps

But the governor’s maps are fair maps. They are good maps. We are not going to be a gerrymandered hellhole anymore. We are actually going to have democracy in the state legislature again for the first time since 2009.

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Does Trumpism play in Wisconsin?

SER: We’re talking about the state Supreme Court election [compared to polls] where [Donald] Trump is doing well or outright winning and it just seems that’s not been the result in actual voting in Wisconsin … especially when abortion rights are on the ballot. What’s your take on that?

JAMIE: Oh yeah, absolutely, I mean so first of all Ron Johnson is kind of the exception not the rule as far as our statewide elected [officials] right now … All of our statewide elected offices, our other US Senator, and now a majority of our state Supreme Court are all Democrats.

So both the gubernatorial election and that last state Supreme Court election were … really was a blowout.

Evers won by like a few points, which I and some other people jokingly were calling a Wisconsin blowout, but the thing is I think that both of those races would have been closer if the less Trumpy candidate had won the primary.

Trumpy candidates got through to the general in both of those and they just don’t have that the statewide appeal here.

You know Trump he does and with the difference of more people coming out in presidential election years but like the Trumpy candidates for Supreme Court and governor have done terribly in the general elections.

SER: But may I ask you this, Jamie? Is that true? So Trump was sort of, 2016 was his evil “Come On Eileen.” That was his big one hit wonder. And we can debate the specific circumstances of 2016 that he leveraged as a candidate. But he narrowly won only because of the Electoral College, then lost in 2020. He lost. Then he kept losing. I mean people have pointed this out and the Trumpy candidates as you say have been losing, the MAGA candidates have been losing, but he sounds and talks like them, like a crazy person with a vendetta which is not who he was in 2016.

I think a lot of liberals want to believe that “well he’s always been terrible” and and I think it’s important to just strategize, to look at it and say, well, no, in 2016, he was talking about, he was putting on a good show and talking about things that certain people cared about. He had no solutions for them, but he was still sort of that guy from The Apprentice. And that’s what people were buying into. And now he’s a cult leader, and I think that has less appeal.

We think you’ll enjoy the rest of our conversation. Please comment below. I look forward to your thoughts.

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The Play Typer Guy
The Play Typer Guy Podcast
"The Play Typer Guy” offers an engaging deep dive into politics and pop culture. Your host is Portland, Oregon-based playwright, columnist, and media critic Stephen Robinson. His son describes him as “play typer guy."