Washblog

The SCOTUS decision in Texas, creating safe districts

In my Bill Richardson world, there is a conversation going on whether Richardson should take the opportunity opened by the Supreme Court to gerrymander New Mexico the way Tom Delay did Texas.

Kos thinks this would earn him "brownie points" with the netroots. If it did, we'd be wrong.

On the surface, I could say just because Tom Delay did it and the Supreme Court says its ok, doesn't make it right. The court and Delay are wrong, we shouldn't join them in the gutter.

If Richardson does do anything, he should take the opportunity opened up by the court to redistrict New Mexico on the basis of building competative seats across the state. Not just on the congressional level, but down to the state legislature level.

One of the worst things that has happened to politics is the creation of the safe district. Instead of a non-partisan redistricting process, with have a omni-partisan process where the parties end up making deals with one another, trading safe district for safe district. These sub-state level districts are built around liberal or conservative communities, so every couple of year incumbents never really face any opposition, and the debate is stifled.

What ends up happening is the state leg is then filled with idealogues who can never see eye to eye with their opponets across the aisle. Not exactly good for democracy.

My point is that competition is good. I know that in a place like Washington there will always be some safe seats. It would be impossible to create a competative district in Seattle or Grant County. But, down in Thurston and Lewis counties the 22nd and the 20th Districts could be changed to create two competative districts, rather than two safe ones.

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Plus, there is no way in Washington for the governor to simply call the leg back and have them redraw the lines. We have the Washington State Redistricting Commission, which is a constitutional bulwark from partisan gerrymandering. Good for us in the 80s I'd say:

No, the Legislature established the boundaries of Washington's election districts until 1980. In 1983, the voters of the state approved a constitutional amendment that established the independent Redistricting Commission. Legislative and congressional redistricting by commission was first done in 1991.



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by emmettoconnell on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 04:21:07 PM PST

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They're raping this country! You don't reason with a rapist. You cut his balls off and stuff them up his ass!

If perception is reality, then the world must be flat and the sun must revolve around it.

by ivan on Sun Jul 02, 2006 at 07:44:40 AM PST

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They started it.

BTW

I do NOT agree with gerrymandering, but, the problem is that this stupid 2 party system leads to cliques on each side more interested in their praises and prizes than representing our communities.

rmm.

http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

by rmdSeaBos on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 12:07:35 PM PST

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