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[Wisconsin] no longer ascribes to representational democracy

DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
edited December 7 in Debate and/or Discourse
Sadly, "Democrats win Democratic Primary" is not the title of an article in The Onion, but something that actually had to be reported.
The State wrote:
The six Democrats who won on Tuesday — Nancy Nusbaum, state Representative Sandy Pasch, Shelly Moore, state Representative Fred Clark, Jessica King and Jennifer Shilling — will now seek to unseat six incumbent Republicans in recall elections on August 9.

Why is this news? Well, it's because their primary challengers were actually Republicans who registered as Democrats in order to slow down the recall process.

Here's a list of the results:
* Former Brown County Executive Nancy Nusbaum of De Pere defeated Otto Junkermann of Allouez, a one-time Republican state representative and past supporter of Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Allouez).

* Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) easily defeated Gladys Huber, a Republican Party stalwart from Mequon. Pasch will face Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills).

* Shelly Moore, a River Falls teacher and official in the state's teachers union, defeated Isaac Weix of Menominee, a hardware store owner and former failed candidate in Republican Party primaries for state Assembly. She'll face Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) in the general election. Weix did the best of all the Republican-backed candidates.

* Rep. Fred Clark (D-Baraboo) defeated Republican Rol Church of Wautoma for the right to face Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon).

* Jessica King, former deputy mayor of Oshkosh, defeated John Buckstaff of Oshkosh and will now go up against Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac).

* Rep. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) defeated James D. Smith, a hospital technician in La Crosse. She will now take on Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse).

If you've been watching only mainstream media for the past five months, you may not know what the big deal in Wisconsin is. Well, basically, new Governor Scott Walker is a longstanding union hater who got elected as Governor of Wisconsin five months before his actions as Milwaukee County Executive got reversed by the courts and proceeded to enact a draconian set of conservative policies with the Republican legislature, focussing on, but not limited to, destroying collective bargaining for public sector unions. This resulted in 14 State Senate Democrats fleeing the state as a legislative trick to slow down the proceedings and enormous protests in the state capitol of Madison and around the state, and now, as noted above, recall elections against the eligible Republican State Senators in an effort to stall the Walker agenda. Walker himself can't be recalled until he's been in office a year, but, believe me, the state's Democrats have plans for that, too.

When Scott Walker isn't trying to drive the Democratic party from Wisconsin and sell the state's future to the Koch brothers, he likes to sit down with a nice cold beer, as long as it's macro-brew shit.
Wisconsin has three tiers, like many other states, for alcohol distribution: a brewer, a wholesaler that distributes the beer and a retailer that sells it. The system was put in place at the end of Prohibition and used by brewers that made Milwaukee famous: Miller, Blatz, Schlitz and Pabst. (They've since moved all or most of their facilities out of the state.)

The proposal was inserted into the proposed state budget by the Legislature's budget committee. It would combine the brewer's permit and wholesale and retail licenses given out by municipalities into a single permit under state control. It would effectively ban brewers from purchasing wholesale distributors — something craft brewers say they might need in the future to avoid getting squeezed out of the market by large corporate brewers.

So yeah. On Wisconsin! Go Badgers!

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Dracomicron on
Geth
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    It's all pretty much for naught, as I suspected the Republicans are going to simply sidestep the democratic process and alter all the districts so they can't lose

    If that fails they'll just alter the law so that Democrats need double the number of votes to win, we literally cannot win back the state as they have the ability to pass whatever they want and they own the court.

    override367 on
  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Oh man, I was wondering where this thread had gone. Although, Im not sure if I should be glad that its back. It usually fills me with sadness and rage. Sadrage is not fun.

    emp123 on
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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Yeah, Wisconsin is about to get the shit Gerrymandered out of it.

    Fencingsax on
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  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Yeah, Wisconsin is about to get the shit Gerrymandered out of it.

    I'm predicting a bunch of small republican districts and one gigantic democratic one that's spread all over the state.

    Taramoor on
  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Taramoor wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Yeah, Wisconsin is about to get the shit Gerrymandered out of it.

    I'm predicting a bunch of small republican districts and one gigantic democratic one that's spread all over the state.

    Im pretty sure each district has to have equal population so itll probably a bunch of slightly red purple districts and a few dark blue districts.

    emp123 on
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  • HarrierHarrier Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    I find myself sometimes wishing the unions in Wisconsin had held a general strike. That, or flat-out occupied the floor of the chamber.

    Harrier on
    I don't wanna kill anybody. I don't like bullies. I don't care where they're from.
  • XaevXaev Registered User
    edited July 2011
    Yeah, when I read the article about the gerrymandering in the WSJ (that's Wisconsin State Journal), I was absolutely flabbergasted. The sad thing is that they'll probably get away with it.

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  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    It's all pretty much for naught, as I suspected the Republicans are going to simply sidestep the democratic process and alter all the districts so they can't lose

    If that fails they'll just alter the law so that Democrats need double the number of votes to win, we literally cannot win back the state as they have the ability to pass whatever they want and they own the court.

    They can make it harder for Democrats to vote. They can gerrymander districts. They can try to de-fund their opponents. They can't change the fact that Wisconsin residents are generally honest, hardworking folk that believe in fair play. They also believe in voting.

    Don't lose hope. Just keep fighting.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    I mean, to be honest, this thread, while depressing, also tends to give me some sort of hope. Because you guys do care and this is a good place for us to get news and for you all to gather and exchange news and stuff.

  • President RexPresident Rex Registered User regular
    I have to think it can't be that difficult - particularly with modern computer simulating and calculating potential - to automatically divide a state's districts based on population density and arbitray longitude and latitude. Or find the geographic center of the state and send out spokes to the border while making sure each 'pie' has an equal population. Automatically redistrict after a census, no one gets to redistrict them for their own gain.

    Sure you might get some people who're stuck out in the boonies away from a polling location, but that is better than having the power of the day redistrict you so that your vote is effectively discounted. You'll probably also get ridiculous things like someone in Appleton being in the same district as Milwaukee and not feeling 'adequately represented,' but hey. If your district is defaulted to another party's power because of how the districts are reorganized for the party in power it won't much matter.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    There are any number of ways to take the partisanship out of redistricting. The government does all kinds of things that aren't political gamesmanship, just people doing their job. Redistricting should be like that.

    Heck, the census is run pretty competently, can we let them do it?

  • Lady EriLady Eri Registered User
    I use to live in Waupaca. I wonder what they think of all this shit.

    The Wheel of Calculadon turns, and then suddenly? Orbital lasers.
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    There are any number of ways to take the partisanship out of redistricting. The government does all kinds of things that aren't political gamesmanship, just people doing their job. Redistricting should be like that.

    Heck, the census is run pretty competently, can we let them do it?
    Not when one side doesn't trust the census.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    I have to think it can't be that difficult - particularly with modern computer simulating and calculating potential - to automatically divide a state's districts based on population density and arbitray longitude and latitude. Or find the geographic center of the state and send out spokes to the border while making sure each 'pie' has an equal population. Automatically redistrict after a census, no one gets to redistrict them for their own gain.

    Sure you might get some people who're stuck out in the boonies away from a polling location, but that is better than having the power of the day redistrict you so that your vote is effectively discounted. You'll probably also get ridiculous things like someone in Appleton being in the same district as Milwaukee and not feeling 'adequately represented,' but hey. If your district is defaulted to another party's power because of how the districts are reorganized for the party in power it won't much matter.

    The whole redistricting thing via "MATH!" is actually a very difficult problem, to the point where supercomputers would be involved to get approximate answers. This is on top of the fact that perfectly random distribution of districts is actually the opposite of the intention. Some districts are gerrymandered to preserve majority minority districts.

    The bolded above is a very bad statement regardless and really doesn't follow from the redistricting comments. There is no reason you can't have multiple polling places per a district. Shit, if I had to drive to the geographic center of my congressional district to vote I would spend about 5 hours in the car, one way.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    The biggest issue with redistricting via computer is issues with the VRA. It works in largely homogenous states (I think Iowa does it), but in more diverse areas you'll probably start having problems.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • MortalToasterMortalToaster Registered User regular
    The Economist had a good article on California's new way - basically an independent citizen commission that works with all the new census data. Sounds like it will do a good job of both equalizing/simplifying the districts and ensuring each district can have good representation in legislature. http://www.economist.com/node/18836108

  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Having a computer do it would be trivial. You'd simply divide the state into X thousand equally sized squares and find the population of each. You'd then join smaller squares which were adjacent until each joined square had equal (or close as possible to equal) population to the largest square. Then you just keep joining neighbors together until the population in each is equal and you have the right number of districts.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • iTunesIsEviliTunesIsEvil Registered User regular
    Yeah, but how do we factor "fuck those Dem voters" into a program like that @tbloxham?

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote:
    Having a computer do it would be trivial. You'd simply divide the state into X thousand equally sized squares and find the population of each. You'd then join smaller squares which were adjacent until each joined square had equal (or close as possible to equal) population to the largest square. Then you just keep joining neighbors together until the population in each is equal and you have the right number of districts.
    That would still result in splitting blocks of voters and effectively disenfranchising them. If you split the only area in town with a high latino population 3 ways and mix them with upper class whites, that block has effectively been silenced.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Teacher prefers loss of $4K in benefits to paying $800 in union dues.
    "They say the union is there to stand up for you," Flood said. "Well, no one has ever had to stand up for me. I think I stand up for myself by doing my job."

    Sigh.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    I hope she's a math teacher.

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  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote:
    tbloxham wrote:
    Having a computer do it would be trivial. You'd simply divide the state into X thousand equally sized squares and find the population of each. You'd then join smaller squares which were adjacent until each joined square had equal (or close as possible to equal) population to the largest square. Then you just keep joining neighbors together until the population in each is equal and you have the right number of districts.
    That would still result in splitting blocks of voters and effectively disenfranchising them. If you split the only area in town with a high latino population 3 ways and mix them with upper class whites, that block has effectively been silenced.

    But if you take that area and deliberately make it a single area then it's voice has been amplified artificially. Yes, the computer is going to mess with things a bit, however I'm fairly sure you could set it to love clustering and then it would naturally group towns together and so on.

    Having a computer do the districting according to fair laws which treat each person as equivalent is the only non-biased way. Yes, some blocks will be broken up, others however will probably be put back together.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    That would be a more accurate summary if you mentioned that the benefits are paid for voluntary and the union dues are confiscated.

  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    tbloxham wrote:
    OptimusZed wrote:
    tbloxham wrote:
    Having a computer do it would be trivial. You'd simply divide the state into X thousand equally sized squares and find the population of each. You'd then join smaller squares which were adjacent until each joined square had equal (or close as possible to equal) population to the largest square. Then you just keep joining neighbors together until the population in each is equal and you have the right number of districts.
    That would still result in splitting blocks of voters and effectively disenfranchising them. If you split the only area in town with a high latino population 3 ways and mix them with upper class whites, that block has effectively been silenced.

    But if you take that area and deliberately make it a single area then it's voice has been amplified artificially. Yes, the computer is going to mess with things a bit, however I'm fairly sure you could set it to love clustering and then it would naturally group towns together and so on.

    Having a computer do the districting according to fair laws which treat each person as equivalent is the only non-biased way. Yes, some blocks will be broken up, others however will probably be put back together.

    Dude, what? That's not trivial at all. What you've described is a fairly strong heuristic that isn't fail-proof - what if you end up with a district-to-be that's underpopulated but hemmed in on all sides so you can't expand it?

    I'm pretty sure solving this problem optimally is NP. I can't recall off the top of my head which NP-hard problem it reduces to, but I'm pretty sure it is. It's similar to some graph theory problems on node merging, and this would be an extremely dense graph due to the 2d nature of geographical distribution, plus having to weight distances between individuals because people aren't uniformly distributed.

    (That being said, just because it's NP doesn't mean it's not doable. Just run it on a bigass computer for a few weeks and you should be fine. But far from trivial, and any implementation will involve some algorithmic tradeoffs that could have various political repercussions.)


    Edit: The problem is clustering, which is defined differently via different algorithms, and has spawned a large number of NP-time algorithms, though there are poly-time algorithms that use stronger heuristics. Minimally though, choosing between the different categories clustering could result in very different electoral maps.

    hippofant on
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote:
    OptimusZed wrote:
    tbloxham wrote:
    Having a computer do it would be trivial. You'd simply divide the state into X thousand equally sized squares and find the population of each. You'd then join smaller squares which were adjacent until each joined square had equal (or close as possible to equal) population to the largest square. Then you just keep joining neighbors together until the population in each is equal and you have the right number of districts.
    That would still result in splitting blocks of voters and effectively disenfranchising them. If you split the only area in town with a high latino population 3 ways and mix them with upper class whites, that block has effectively been silenced.

    But if you take that area and deliberately make it a single area then it's voice has been amplified artificially. Yes, the computer is going to mess with things a bit, however I'm fairly sure you could set it to love clustering and then it would naturally group towns together and so on.

    Having a computer do the districting according to fair laws which treat each person as equivalent is the only non-biased way. Yes, some blocks will be broken up, others however will probably be put back together.
    No, keeping that block together doesn't "artificially amplify" its voice. Malfeasance during redistricting can only marginalize, it can't provide more votes than are actually there. If you take a voting block you don't like and split it into parts, then put those parts into blocks that are solidly on your side, you've marginalized the block that you don't like. If you block like with like, you get a reasonable approximation of the actual proportions within your voting area.

    If you have 100 latinos and 300 upper class whites, and you've got 4 districts to divide up, 4 groups of 25 latino/75 white isn't going

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    Teacher prefers loss of $4K in benefits to paying $800 in union dues.
    "They say the union is there to stand up for you," Flood said. "Well, no one has ever had to stand up for me. I think I stand up for myself by doing my job."

    Sigh.

    Its scary how often people can't see the forest from the trees.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    That would be a more accurate summary if you mentioned that the benefits are paid for voluntary and the union dues are confiscated.

    No, it wouldn't.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    That would be a more accurate summary if you mentioned that the benefits are paid for voluntary and the union dues are confiscated.

    Except, you know, for the fact that Walker is actually confiscating the benefits that were paid for. Paying the union was an attempt to NOT get screwed over like that.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    "They say the union is there to stand up for you," Flood said. "Well, no one has ever had to stand up for me. I think I stand up for myself by doing my job.".

    Well seeing as how she just lost 4k in benefits she should find a better rep.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    spool32 wrote:
    That would be a more accurate summary if you mentioned that the benefits are paid for voluntary and the union dues are confiscated.

    Except, you know, for the fact that Walker is actually confiscating the benefits that were paid for. Paying the union was an attempt to NOT get screwed over like that.

    That's not really accurate either, is it? Is Walker actually confiscating any benefits, particularly any benefits that are already purchased by employees? Is he reducing the current valuation of pensions? Is he retroactively denying health coverage?

    Also, is "paying the union" an accurate description? It might be just semantics, but I feel terms are important in this discussion, because each side is trying to claim rhetorical ground through the language they use to frame the debate. Union member dues are confiscated before the employee ever touches the money. There is no payment involved because there's no choice involved. Moreover, isn't it reasonable to think that at least for some union members, union dues weren't an attempt to avoid getting screwed in contract negs, but the required fee for getting access to the job in the first place - access controlled by union gatekeepers? Could it not be the case that some people would rather lose $4K in benefits than be forced to pay a monthy fee to support an organization they oppose politically, simply for the opportunity to work?

    spool32 on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Could it not be the case that some people would rather lose $4K in benefits than be forced to pay a monthy fee to support an organization they oppose politically, simply for the opportunity to work?

    Sure people do stupid things all the time.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Likewise "Democratic primaries" - is that really accurate? Weren't most of them open primaries? Yes, shenanigans were all the rage in the primary challenges, and yes the main candidate in each primary was a Democrat who planned to challenge a sitting Republican, but my understanding is that they were not Democratic primary races.

    Semantics are important sometimes, and any side degrades its position among those people trying to understand facts and chart a course through them, by engaging in these rhetorical misdirections.

  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Okay. I found myself about to dive into debate with Spool, but this really isn't the appropriate thread. If you want to argue about whether or not union dues are highway robbery, make a [Unions] thread.

    If you want to talk about what's going on in Wisconsin, post here.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Hmm. Cross-posted with Draco, and no delete option yet. Sorry! Didn't mean to get on a tangent.

    spool32 on
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    Likewise "Democratic primaries" - is that really accurate? Weren't most of them open primaries? Yes, shenanigans were all the rage in the primary challenges, and yes the main candidate in each primary was a Democrat who planned to challenge a sitting Republican, but my understanding is that they were not Democratic primary races.

    Semantics are important sometimes, and any side degrades its position among those people trying to understand facts and chart a course through them, by engaging in these rhetorical misdirections.
    No. None of them were open primaries. Every single one was to determine the candidate who would challenge the Republican senator in that district a month later. If they were open primaries, like in Washington and Louisiana, then Hopper, Kapanke, and the rest would also have been on the ballots.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    Likewise "Democratic primaries" - is that really accurate? Weren't most of them open primaries? Yes, shenanigans were all the rage in the primary challenges, and yes the main candidate in each primary was a Democrat who planned to challenge a sitting Republican, but my understanding is that they were not Democratic primary races.

    Semantics are important sometimes, and any side degrades its position among those people trying to understand facts and chart a course through them, by engaging in these rhetorical misdirections.
    No. None of them were open primaries. Every single one was to determine the candidate who would challenge the Republican senator in that district a month later. If they were open primaries, like in Washington and Louisiana, then Hopper, Kapanke, and the rest would also have been on the ballots.
    My understanding was that in a Wisconsin recall election, the primary is open and whoever wins, challenges the sitting legislator. This is not the same mechanism as a normal election with an open primary.

  • P10P10 An Idiot With Low IQ Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    spool32 wrote:
    Likewise "Democratic primaries" - is that really accurate? Weren't most of them open primaries? Yes, shenanigans were all the rage in the primary challenges, and yes the main candidate in each primary was a Democrat who planned to challenge a sitting Republican, but my understanding is that they were not Democratic primary races.

    Semantics are important sometimes, and any side degrades its position among those people trying to understand facts and chart a course through them, by engaging in these rhetorical misdirections.
    Calling the primary for the Democratic Party a 'Democratic Primary' is not a 'rhetorical misdirection'.

    Shameful pursuits and utterly stupid opinions
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    P10 wrote:
    spool32 wrote:
    Likewise "Democratic primaries" - is that really accurate? Weren't most of them open primaries? Yes, shenanigans were all the rage in the primary challenges, and yes the main candidate in each primary was a Democrat who planned to challenge a sitting Republican, but my understanding is that they were not Democratic primary races.

    Semantics are important sometimes, and any side degrades its position among those people trying to understand facts and chart a course through them, by engaging in these rhetorical misdirections.
    Calling the primary for the Democratic Party a 'Democratic Primary' is not a 'rhetorical misdirection'.
    My understanding was that in a Wisconsin recall election, the primary is open and whoever wins, challenges the sitting legislator. This is not the same mechanism as a normal election with an open primary.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    spool32 wrote:
    Likewise "Democratic primaries" - is that really accurate? Weren't most of them open primaries? Yes, shenanigans were all the rage in the primary challenges, and yes the main candidate in each primary was a Democrat who planned to challenge a sitting Republican, but my understanding is that they were not Democratic primary races.

    Semantics are important sometimes, and any side degrades its position among those people trying to understand facts and chart a course through them, by engaging in these rhetorical misdirections.
    No. None of them were open primaries. Every single one was to determine the candidate who would challenge the Republican senator in that district a month later. If they were open primaries, like in Washington and Louisiana, then Hopper, Kapanke, and the rest would also have been on the ballots.
    My understanding was that in a Wisconsin recall election, the primary is open and whoever wins, challenges the sitting legislator. This is not the same mechanism as a normal election with an open primary.
    Yes, it is. In any election, whoever wins the primary goes on to the general election. Sometimes the incumbent must face a primary and sometimes not; some states require primary voters to be registered members of that party, and some states do not have party registration at all. A Republican entering a Democratic primary because he fills out the proper paperwork doesn't make it not a Democratic primary.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    However, reading the actual document setting out the rules for this sort of thing:
    http://gab.wi.gov/sites/default/files/publication/65/recall_manual_for_congressiona_county_and_state__82919.pdf

    I find that for partisan offices, each party "holds" its own primary, but the sitting legislator is automatically nominated for his own party. However, there is no requirement that a candidate in a partisan primary election need actually be a member of the party holding the election.

    So there you go - definitive answer.

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