Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Don't Mess With Texas (Dems)
In case you might have missed this story, Democrats in the Texas House have taken off to Oklahoma. And why have they done this? Well, you see, the Texas GOP has decided to redraw Congressional lines, just two years after they were redone subsequent to the 2000 Census. The proposed new lines would increase GOP representation in Congress by about 4 seats, thereby helping the GOP maintain its congressional majority.
I am certainly not an election law expert, but I cannot recall something like this happening in the past. District lines are redrawn every ten years to reflect the latest Census data. Obviously, both parties seek to maximize their winnable districts. But to go back to the well a second time for "better" districts is a bit disturbing and would create a dangerous precedent. What if control of the state legislature changes hands at some point between Census years, would they redraw lines each time?
To redraw lines now, at an uncustomary time, is indicative of the lows to which the GOP will stoop in order to hold onto power in Congress. The real losers won't be the Democrats, but the American people.


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