Talking Points Memo: Redistricting Puts Bachmann In Blue District — But She’ll Continue To Run In Old One

February 21, 2012- Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), a Tea Party favorite who made an unsuccessful run for president, has just encountered a slight complication in her re-election race to the House.

A judicial panel in Minnesota has released a new Congressional map for the state. The map shows that Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann's hometown of Stillwater, which was previously near the border of her heavily Republican 6th District, has now been put into the St. Paul-based 4th District of Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum.

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Tad Ottman and Adam Foltz – Creators of the Maps Making Public Comments

Tad Ottman and Adam Foltz, Republican aides who drew the redistricting maps testify at the public hearing in July. We recently found out that Adam Foltz wrote a secret talking points memo for Robin Vos telling Republican legislators to "ignore the public comments" about the maps. We also found out that Adam had almost all of the republican lawmakers sign non-disclosure agreements about every part of the map making process.

These two taxpayer aides actually work out of the office of the law firm hired to represent the Assembly Republicans even well after the drafting of the maps has been completed.
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Two legislative aides working out of law firm office instead of Capitol

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Two legislative aides working out of law firm office instead of Capitol

-By Patrick Marley

February 9, 2012- Madison – Two taxpayer-paid legislative aides who were responsible for drawing new election maps continue to work out of a law firm instead of the Capitol, even though lawmakers approved the maps six months ago.

Tad Ottman and Adam Foltz were responsible for drawing new district lines last year, and they did that work out of the Madison office of Michael Best & Friedrich, across the street from the Capitol. Those maps were approved in August, but they continue to work from there.

Foltz makes $50,000 a year and works from the law office most of the time. Ottman makes $79,236 a year; he declined to say how often he works at the law office. Taxpayers are paying their wages no matter which office they work from.

Meanwhile Thursday, Sen. Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) took heat because his office twice told a constituent this week that Kedzie had not signed a confidentiality agreement regarding the new election maps. In fact, he had.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Vos says redistricting talking points were prepared for him

-By Patrick Marley

February 8, 2012- Madison – Rep. Robin Vos acknowledged Wednesday that talking points were created for him last year that told Republicans to ignore public comments on new election maps.

But Vos, one of the Assembly's top leaders, downplayed the memo's significance and said he simply told other Republicans they should not listen to Democrats on the issue – a claim that critics called implausible.

Vos said he did not know why the half-page memo was phrased the way it was. He also distanced himself from other parts of the memo.

The memo was prepared for one-on-one meetings Vos had with Assembly Republicans in June and July.

"Public comments on this map may be different than what you hear in this room. Ignore the public comments," the memo said.

Peter Earle, one of the attorneys suing over the new election maps, said the talking points showed Republicans planned to tell the public something different about the maps than what they were saying in private.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Judicial panel deals setback to GOP in redistricting case

Consultant, aide must give testimony to Democrats

-By Patrick Marley

December 8, 2011- Madison – In a setback for Republicans defending new legislative districts, a three-judge federal panel on Thursday ordered a consultant and a Senate aide who helped draft the maps to give depositions to Democrats suing over their constitutionality.

The ruling signals that other aides will likely have to provide videotaped testimony as well. The court said if it deems future attempts to quash subpoenas as being made in bad faith, it will award attorney fees to the Democratic group.

This case is being heard by J.P. Stadtmueller of the eastern district of Wisconsin, Diane P. Wood of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Robert M. Dow Jr. of the northern district of Illinois. Stadtmueller was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, Wood was appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton and Dow was appointed by Republican President George W. Bush.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Republicans withdraw redistricting lawsuit with state Supreme Court

-By Patrick Marley

December 2, 2011- Madison – A group of Republicans asked to withdraw one of its two lawsuits over recalls on Friday, two days after the state Supreme Court asked detailed questions about of its efforts.

The group of Republican citizens asked the high court last month to appoint a panel of three circuit court judges to hear its arguments that any recalls of state lawmakers be held in newly drawn districts that favor their party. If the court declined to form the panel, they asked for the high court to take the case itself.

In orders issued Wednesday and Thursday, the court ordered the Republican group, as well as Democratic ones, to file memorandums on the case by Tuesday. They asked pointed questions, including whether it should defer the case because of a six-month-old federal case over the new election maps filed by one of the Democratic groups.

On Friday, the Republican group's attorney, Eric McLeod, filed a one-sentence voluntary withdrawal of its petition with the high court.

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