Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Independent Redistricting in a Partisan World Uphill Battle

  • Redistricting now in Salt Lake County Council’s hands (By Jeremiah Stettler, The Salt Lake Tribune) Mayor Peter Corroon, a Democrat, considers the redistricting plans well-crafted. “The nonpartisan commission presented three viable options,” Corroon said, “a true demonstration of working for people not politics.”
  • Editorial: Independent redistricting panel up to citizens (Athens GA Banner-Herald) Clearly, then, what it will take to make an independent redistricting commission a reality in Georgia is a broad-based grassroots movement. Even those citizens who favor the party currently in power have an interest -- albeit it might not readily be apparent to them -- in having district lines drawn based on a "communities of interest" standard.
  • California's redistricting, by 14 citizens (By Cynthia Dai, LA Times) Predictably, some people aren't happy with our final decisions. Politicians and political parties that no longer have the same safe districts wish we'd drawn different lines. But there are procedures for dissenters to voice their concerns at the ballot box or in the courts.
  • Maine Redistricting Dispute Could be Headed for Court (Reported By: A.J. Higgins, Maine Public Broadcasting Network) Republicans and Democrats on a 15-member Reapportionment Commission continued to disagree today on a plan to redraw the political boundaries of the state's 1st and 2nd Congressional districts. Commission Chairman Michael Friedman, the sole politically unaffiliated member from Bangor, ended the stalemate by siding with the Democrats. Now both proposals go to the Legislature--and possibly the Supreme Court for a final ruling.
  • Redistricting committee still stuck in partisan rut, so Legislature to decide issue (By Eric Russell, Bangor Daily News) Michael Friedman: “I couldn’t get the donkey and the elephant to move a stitch, even though I tried. But I remain an optimist because whatever happens today, it’s not the end of the road.”
  • Editorial: IRC ignoring rural districts (The Daily Courier - Prescot AZ) In this space we have supported efforts to de-politicize the process in hopes of creating more competitive and more representative districts. It should not be so difficult to create districts in which the representative - state or federal - would have to think about balance, both politically and remembering rural concerns. Proof of this disconnect is found in the state Independent Redistricting Commission's public outreach meetings. No members of the IRC attended the commission's meeting in Flagstaff. Not one.
  • Pinal congressional, legislative districts need to shrink - Hispanic group favors similar 4th, 7th lines (By HAROLD KITCHING, TriValleyCentral) The Independent Redistricting Commission, mandated by a voter initiative in 2000 to take the redrawing away from politicians, has adopted basic congressional and legislative maps as a starting point, based on equal population and compactness and continuousness.

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