By Karen Stokes
Eric Holder, former Attorney General of the United States from 2009 to 2015 came to Wisconsin with stops in Milwaukee and Madison to campaign for Supreme Court candidate Rebecca Dallet and to discuss redistricting and suing Governor Scott Walker.
At a community discussion Thursday afternoon, sponsored by the Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC), Holder addressed the audience and answered questions.
Holder, who served under President Barack Obama said, “This is a critical time, a critical year and Wisconsin is a critical state.”
He said Rebecca Dallet is the clear choice for the Supreme Court seat because of her experience, temperament and he commended her for being tough, fair and compassionate.
Holder heads the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) which is spending $140,000 on digital ads backing Dallet.
According to the NDRC website, the organization was created because in 2010, Republicans rode a midterm wave into power, winning state legislative and gubernatorial elections around the country. That gave them disproportional control over the nation’s redistricting process— where state leaders redraw congressional and state legislative lines following the nation’s Census to make sure districts include roughly the same number of people.
The NDRC is attacking this problem from every angle to ensure the next round of redistricting is fair and that maps reflect the will of the voters.
“All I want is a fair shot, just to make it fair,” Holder said.
Last month, the NDRC sued Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to try to force him to hold elections to fill two vacant seats in the state Legislature. Holder said Walker doesn’t want to fill those seats until November but he is calling for a special legislative session on school safety.
The lawsuit argues that the voters in two districts will remain unrepresented for more than a year and their next chance to vote won’t be until the November elections. It states that, according to Wisconsin statute, the governor has the duty to hold elections for vacant seats “as promptly as possible.”
Holder shared his optimistic yet cautious outlook on our nation.
“America is a work in progress, we’re better now than we were years ago. I have respect for people who made my world better,” Holder said. “It’s a country that hasn’t always treated people fairly. I think of my father, he was an immigrant from the West Indies and voluntarily served for this country in World War II.” “He was in North Carolina and had to sit in the back of the bus and had to go to the back door to get his lunch while he was in uniform.
He was a Master Sergeant. That should have turned him off, but he always felt that this country as imperfect as it is, can be made better.”
Holder’s fathers optimism reached to his son.
When asked who were the rising stars in the Democratic Party he mentioned Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and few more names then added himself.
That could possibly be a suggestion that Holder may run for office in the future. Time will tell.