Democrats Ready to Fight Redistricting Wars

The redistricting wars may be beginning. ABC News report that unions and other liberal groups are forming a political committee for anticipated redistricting fights with the Republicans:

The formation of the political group Foundation for the Future, called a 527 because of the part of the tax code section that governs it, was at least partially a response to aggressive redistricting tactics by Republicans.

“Republicans are prepared to use all means necessary so they can gain power and govern,” said Larry Scanlon, political director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “They were willing to go into states and do mid-decade redistricting, turning our whole democracy on its ear.”

The committee expects to spend about $17 million over the next five years on redistricting at the state and federal level, with more than half of that money provided by AFSCME, Scanlon said Thursday.

The committee is being formed by AFSCME along with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and the National Committee for an Effective Congress.

“Not being prepared is not an option,” said Joan Fitz-Gerald, DLCC chairwoman and Colorado Senate president.

The wave of the future. Increasingly elections may be won or lost due to events before election day. Republicans already realized this, especially with their actions to suppress the Democratic vote in 2000 and 2004. While I hate to see elections won or lost this way, if one side is doing it, the Democrats have no choice.

Related stories below the fold.

Supreme Court Backs Most Changes to Texas Congressional Districts

Posted by Ron Chusid
June 28th, 2006 @ 8:51 am

AP reports that the Supreme Court has reached a decision on the Texas redistricting case:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld most of the Texas congressional map engineered by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay but threw out part, saying some of the new boundaries failed to protect minority voting rights.

The fractured decision was a small victory for Democratic and minority groups who accused Republicans of an unconstitutional power grab in drawing boundaries that booted four Democratic incumbents out of office.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said Hispanics do not have a chance to elect a candidate of their choosing under the plan.

Republicans picked up six Texas congressional seats two years ago, and the court’s ruling does not seriously threaten those gains. Lawmakers, however, will have to adjust boundary lines to address the court’s concerns.

At issue was the shifting of 100,000 Hispanics out of a district represented by a Republican incumbent and into a new, oddly shaped district. Foes of the plan had argued that that was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander under the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voting rights.

On a different issue, the court ruled that state legislators may draw new maps as often as they like — not just once a decade as Texas Democrats claimed. That means Democratic and Republican state lawmakers can push through new maps anytime there is a power shift at a state capital.

So the verdict is in. Redistricting at anytime is ok to screw the other political party, but not to screw minorities. I suspect that this distinction will lead to future legal cases when Congressional districts are redrawn. Republicans might also come to regret this as Democrats control the executive and legislative branches in Illininois, Maine, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Carolina, Louisiana, Washington and West Virginia, and this could be increased by several states in November.

Perhaps the Court is right that they should not interfere with something like this which is handled by the states. Nor should they have interfered with recounts of an election mandated by a state court, such as in Florida.

More information at Bloomberg.com.

Voter Registration Rules Help Republicans in Ohio

Posted on Mon Aug 7th, 2006 at 10:14:59 PM EST

The New York Times reports that they are still at it in Ohio. Voter registration are making it harder to register the poor according to Democrats. Republicans claim that the rules are needed to prevent fraud, but the impact of fraud is questionable. “But a separate study last year by the League of Women Voters found that voter registration fraud did not necessarily result in fraud at the polls. Out of 9,078,728 votes cast in Ohio in 2002 and 2004, the report said, only four ballots were fraudulent, according to statistics provided by officials from the state’s 88 county boards of elections.”

Forget conspiracy theories of switching votes by electronic voting machines, and the weak arguments based upon exit polls. This is how Republicans really get the edge–by stacking the rules so more Republicans vote than Democrats in states such as Ohio and Florida.

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    Lisa says:

    This is a tragedy what’s happening to our electorial process. While our boys are dying to establish democracy in another country, we at home are allowing it’s very foundation to be destroyed. I’m usally not a political blogger, but two weeks ago I saw a special screening of the documentary American Blackout. I have been angry ever since. How could we allow what happened in Ohio, Florida and Georgia with Senator McKinney occur. I know many people are tired of hearing how blacks are mistreated in this country. I know I am, but in this documentary movie American Blackout it was obvious that the Negroe vote was disguarded. If we allow this go on, soon women’s voting rights will be in question. In fact anyone who doesn’t agree with the extreme Conservatives will be disguarded.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Lisa,

    “I’m usally not a political blogger” The events since 2000 have resulted in many more people getting involved politically in protest. Several blogs had posts a day or two ago about moderate liberals becoming more radicalized in response to recent events. While there is all the talk about the angry left blogosphere in the media, there is good reason to be angry.

  3. 3
    Joan Fitz-Gerald says:

    Its hard to take Joan Fitz-Gerald in Colorado seriously when she spends our tax dollars in this way: http://www.joan-fitzgerald.info/

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