Barca: Dems opposed voter maps because of distrust - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Barca: Dems opposed voter maps because of distrust

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca acknowledges that Democrats were lining up to oppose new voter maps even before Republicans released them, saying Democrats were hearing rumors and suspecting the worst.

Barca testified Thursday in Milwaukee in a federal trial to determine whether the maps are constitutional.

Rather than develop the maps in an open process, Republicans produced them in private last year and rushed them through a GOP-led Legislature. Democrats and an immigrant-rights group have sued, saying the maps were drawn in ways that disenfranchise voters and hurt minorities.

Barca says Democrats were hearing rumblings that the Republicans would "try to spring something on us," so they began developing a strategy of opposition.

Defense attorney Daniel Kelly countered that Democrats never called an emergency town-hall meeting or otherwise sought public input before deciding they wouldn't support maps they hadn't seen.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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