Friday, March 10, 2006

Redistricting Watch: Avlon Joins the Fray

Centrist columnist John Avlon added his voice to the movement for redistricting reform this week, devoting his March 7 column in the New York Sun to the topic. Noting "No single action would do more to heal the artificial polarization of Americans politics," Avlon makes an eloquent case for changing the way congressional districts are drawn.

After discussing the current pending Supreme Court case as well as recent developments in Congress and the many ongoing reform efforts at the state level (at least fifteen at last count), Avlon concludes:

"The resilience of redistricting reform in the face of strenuous professional partisan opposition is a testament to its urgency and merit. Congressional scandals and increased public disgust with the artificial polarization of politics may finally force Congress and state legislatures alike to end this corrupt bargain. But it will only happen if our elected representatives are shamed into taking action. Once redistricting is reformed, the political process will be more open to competition, while there will be tangible electoral rewards for working constructively across the aisle. It is the reform that would open the door to all others."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

[Note: Also posted at TMV.]

Previous Redistricting Watch posts:
- "Action in the Senate [and more!]" (3/1)
- "NTU Endorses Tanner Legislation" (1/10/06)
- "SCOTUS Grabs the Ball" (12/13/05)
- "Tanner Calls for Hearings" (11/3)
- "WaPo Weighs In" (10/24)
- "Q & A with Congressman John Tanner" (10/20)
- "Governator Goes to Ohio" (10/18)
- "Schwarzenegger Calls on McCain" (10/11)
- "Broder's Right" (9/1)
- "WaPo on Prop 77" (8/21)
- "Prop 77 Back On" (8/12)
- "Updates from the States" (8/10)
- "Updates on Several Fronts" (7/28)
- "Cosponsors Update" (7/22)
- "How Exactly do you Gerrymander a Birthday Cake?" (7/20)
- "Happy Birthday Mr. Gerry" (7/19)
- "Federal Authority in Historical Perspective" (7/16)
- "Blue Dogs, on the Scent" (7/12)
- "Cosponsors Update" (7/1)
- "Links, News, and Views" (6/24)
- "Polarization & Collegiality" (6/24)
- "Centrist Action on Redistricting Reform" (6/23)


At 10:57 AM, Anonymous grognard said...

I will give you a take on my personal perspective on this. When my district in Colorado was going to be drawn up originally the evenly split Congress could not agree on the boundaries so the task ended up in the Colorado Supreme Court. The Court drew up boundaries to create a very competitive district with a fairly even mix of independents Republicans and Democrats. When the Republicans came to power later they decided that since the boundary was drawn by the Court rather than the legislature they could now redraw it again. In a brutal political move [ without the Republican Governor being informed] the Republicans at the end of the legislative session and without any warning put their proposal before the Legislature for an immediate up or down vote with no chance for debate, public or otherwise. The measure passed but [Democrat] Ken Salazar the state Attorney General challenged the action and it went back to the Supreme Court. The Court ruled that you get one chance to draw boundaries, and even if the Court does it for you and that is that. There was so much outrage on how this came down that in the next election the Republicans lost the both House and Senate, an astounding reversal for Colorado. I am now one of the few voters in this country living in an up for grabs district that can cast a vote that can truly make a difference, it is time every voter had that privilege

At 11:15 AM, Blogger JBD said...

grognard, thanks for your comment - you're absolutely right!


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