Ed’s Weblog

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Texan gerrymandering

Posted by Ed on August 23, 2003

Gerrymandering appears to be part of the normal political process in the US. Officially, ‘redistricting’ is done every ten years on the basis of the latest census data.

There seems to be an increasing trend now, though, for parties to try to consolidate their grip on power whenever they get the chance by redrawing electoral boundaries. The latest push comes from Senate majority leader, Tom DeLay, who wants to ‘redistrict’ Texas. The NY Times quotes DeLay being refreshingly honest:

Mr. DeLay, a former Texas legislator himself, has been candid about his reasons for pushing for a new Congressional map, telling reporters at one point, “I’m the majority leader, and we want more seats.”

In an attempt to thwart this move, a number of Democratic Senators fled to Mexico New Mexico, making the legislature inquorate. They are now still in exile in Mexico New Mexico, and face arrest upon their return. A letter from one the Senators explains the situation:

I know, it sounds more like a banana republic than the dignified democracy on which we have long prided ourselves. We are effectively exiled from the state due to our unalterable opposition to a Republican effort — pushed by Tom Delay and Karl Rove, and led by Texas Governor Rick Perry — that would rewrite the map of Texas Congressional districts in order to elect at least 5 more Republicans to Congress.

MoveOn has the details, and has started a campaign to ‘Defend Democracy’.

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One Response to “Texan gerrymandering”

  1. We Interrupt This Weblog…
    Friends and neighbors, I am no fan of political discussion. It’s been my experience that no one wins or is very much moved, as the entire dialogue is an impassioned defense of one’s own beliefs. I’m comfortable with my own

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