Friday, July 01, 2005

Redistricting Watch: Cosponsors Update

Support for Rep. John Tanner's bipartisan redistricting proposal, H.R. 2642, continued to grow this week, with nine more centrist Democrats signing on as cosponsors. They are Gene Taylor (MS-4), Bud Cramer (AL-5), Marion Berry (AR-1), Mike Thompson (CA-1), Jane Harman (CA-36), Dan Boren (OK-2), Collin Peterson (MN-7), Lincoln Davis (TN-4), and John Salazar (CO-3).

They join Tanner and 22 previous cosponsors in backing the bill, which would require states to create independent commissions for the purpose of redrawing the borders of House districts after each federal census. This would remove the influence of incumbent politicians from the process of redistricting, a phenomenon which has resulted in the creation of non-competitive House districts and served to add to the polarization we see in Congress today.

After the July 4 congressional recess, I'm going to begin a full-court press of centrist Republicans, particularly those from the northeast and midwest, to join their colleagues from the other side of the aisle in backing this bill. Rep. Zach Wamp of Tennessee is, thus far, the only Republican supporting the measure - but with any luck at all, he won't stand alone for long.

Previous Redistricting Watch posts:
- "Links, News, and Views" (6/24)
- "Polarization & Collegiality" (6/24)
- "Centrist Action on Redistricting Reform" (6/23)


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