Tuesday, February 28, 2012

GOP Attorney Kelly Engaged In Lies And Deceit Claiming Latina State Legislator Supported Redistricting Maps

JoCasta Zamarripa

State Representative Zamarripa claims GOP attorney Kelly engaged in lies and deceit when he told a three federal judge panel that she supported the disputed GOP redistricting maps.

By H. Nelson Goodson
February 28, 2012

Milwaukee - On Friday,  GOP attorney Dan Kelly told a three federal judge panel during closing arguments in a redistricting map lawsuit case that State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milw.) had actually supported the GOP redistricting maps by not opposing the redrawn maps. The state GOP controlled legislature and Governor Scott Walker (R) approved the maps in February, which actually splits up a Hispanic voter-age majority district in Milwaukee.
Friday's testimony by Kelly brought harsh words and allegations of deceit and lies from Zamarripa on Sunday. Zamarripa said, she was scheduled to testify in the federal trial, but was cut as a witness when the trial was set for only two days. The approved GOP redistricting maps divided the south side predominately Hispanic 8th Assembly District, which Zamarripa represents.
Zamarripa's press release stated that Republican attorney Kelly's closing argument on the redistricting case highlighted a quote of Zamarripa out of context, and claimed that it displayed her support of the maps. They went on to falsely insist that Zamarripa supported the Republican maps because she did not testify during the two day trial.
Zamarripa in response stated, “I am outraged that the GOP attorneys would resort to potentially slanderous statements in order to defend the Republicans in their web of lies and deceit of the public.
“In fact, I was on the witness list to testify, but in a strategic decision by attorneys based on the court’s directive that the trial conclude in two days, I was not called to testify.
“This redistricting plan deliberately and cynically divides our Latino community. It is an abuse of power designed to marginalize Latino voters.
“I cannot state emphatically enough that I do not and never have endorsed the redistricted maps that were forced upon Wisconsin with no public input, no timeline, and no regard for our fellow Wisconsinites,” Zamarripa said.
The three federal panel of judges will take at least three weeks to decide on the case.
According to Zamarripa, Republicans in the state legislature decided to split the Latino community along S. Chavez Drive. The East side of Chavez Dr. will become the 9th Assembly District and the West side will become the 8th Assembly District.
The state approved redistricting SB 148 bill created a Hispanic voting-age majority population with 54% from the current 22.9% in the 9th Assembly District and the 8th Assembly District was cut to 60% of Hispanic voting-age majority. The Republicans cut Zamarripa's majority and created the two Districts. Zamarripa said, they could have added a 68% to 70% Hispanic majority to the 8th District, but didn't.
Zamarripa lives in the 8th Assembly District.
The Republican state redistricting process only held one hearing, withheld the maps from the public, kept the process secret, and Democrats were given one week notice before they were approved.
They disenfranchised the Latino community from actually participatiing in the process and by not providing more time to challenge the plan and rushing to approve their redistricting plan.
Democrats, Voces de la Frontera and the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit claiming the state GOP legislators violated the Federal Voting Act of 1965, affording minority populations majority Districts calculated by results from the U.S. Census every ten years.

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