State Republican lawmakers were told to ignore public comments and instead concentrate on information from secret sessions as new legislative and congressional district maps were being drawn last summer.
Nearly all Republican legislators signed legal agreements promising not to talk about the new maps while they were being written, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Documents detailing the legal agreements as well as a set of talking points given to GOP legislators were released Monday, after three federal judges called motions filed by Republicans who fought to keep the documents secret frivolous, according to the paper.
Under the agreements, lawmakers agreed to "not to disclose the fact and/or contents of such discussions or any draft documents within your possession."
Legislators are constitutionally required to redistrict every 10 years based on new census population figures and demographic changes. With legal challenges aside, the maps go into effect in 2012.
In the scheme of things statewide, the new maps may affect Shorewood more than others. It dramatically transforms the political landscape of the village, shifting the village from the 8th Senate district under Sen. Albert Darling (R-River Hills) to the 4th Senate District controlled by Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee).
Without liberal-leaning Shorewood, the 8th Senate District would see a more suburban, more conservative constituency, stretching north into Grafton and as far west as the town of Erin in Washington County.
The bill would also move Shorewood out of the 22nd Assembly District under Rep. Sandy Pasch of Whitefish Bay and into the 10th district under Democratic freshman Rep. Elizabeth Coggs from Milwaukee. Shorewood resident and Darling recall effort leader .
In addition, Shorewood would no longer fall under Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner's 5th but rather into the 4th Congressional District under Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore.
The Republican-controlled legislature created new district lines this summer. Democrats immediately called the new boundaries unfair and have accused Republicans of gerrymandering.
because 300,000 people wouldn't be able to vote in state Senate races next year as they now live in a different district.
Additionally, an immigrant rights group says Republicans violated the state's open meetings law while writing the maps and filed a complaint Monday with the Dane County District Attorney, according the the newspaper.