Elections 2010 And The Republican Redistricting Threat

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[Speaking Truth To Power]

Watch For Gerrymandering Going Foward

With the harrowing possibility of increased Republican representation in Congress after next Tuesday’s Mid-Term Election there’s another frightening prospect: Republicans gaining voting blocs, for the 2012 Elections, through redistricting.

Redistricting is the procedure by which political boundaries are redrawn, especially due to changes in the Census.

2010 was a Census year. Unfortunately, the primary problem with redistricting is that it’s vulnerable to partisan political manipulation and abuse, because 36 states allow their state legislatures, often with gubernatorial authorization, to draw up redistricting plans. Only five states Washington, Idaho, Hawaii, Arizona and New Jersey allow for redistricting by an independent or bipartisan committee.

Because of this the occurrence of fraudulent, unethical redistricting—through gerrymandering—is always a threat.

Gerrymandering is the drawing of political boundaries to benefit, or impede, the political self-determination of a particular party and or its constituents. The term was first published by the Boston Gazette, in 1812, during the era of then Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry.

The term was believed to have been coined by Federalist newspaper editors John and Benjamin Russell and Nathan Hale. The expression came about after Governor Gerry signed a bill that created several crooked districts that benefited his Democratic - Republican Party. The Democratic-Republican Party was Thomas Jefferson’s party. One district was drawn so warped it was said to look like a Salamander fish and the term gerrymandering—after Governor Gerry—was born.

The Brennan Center For Justice said this about gerrymandering “The epidemic of gerrymandering poses a growing threat to our democracy. It’s an open secret: more and more legislative districts reflect calculations by those in power about how they best preserve that power, and fewer and fewer give meaningful representation to communities of voters. Incumbents carve the citizens of their state into districts for maximum personal and partisan advantage, and democracy suffers: neighborhoods are split, competing candidates are drawn out of contention, groups of voters are "cracked" or "packed" to manipulate their
voting power. We like to think that voters choose their politicians—but in the redistricting process, politicians choose their voters. Well designed redistricting systems, in contrast, can help ensure that elected public servants actually serve their public.”

After voting in next week’s election, keen focus must be placed on the redistricting issue. Republicans and their political Svengali, Karl Rove, will probably use varieties of dirty tactics to regain full power in 2012.

Gerrymandering will probably be one of many devices used. In fact, GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli said “If Republicans make major gains in all the chambers it is possible I would add Michigan and North Carolina to that list…What it means for redistricting [the Republicans] would redraw the legislative and congressional lines. There will be judicial challenges but, let’s face it; you’d rather it be you drawing the map than the other guy.”

GOPAC is an organization for “training and electing” Republicans.
Some will argue gerrymandering has also helped minorities elect candidates in some instances. While that has happened occasionally, the tactic was often used, especially, in the South to weaken the votes of African-American communities.

Moreover, this form of nefarious redistricting is injurious to democracy in general. Given the corrupt proclivities of Republicans can we afford not to pay attention to this issue as we approach 2012?

Presently, 37 states will be holding gubernatorial elections next week. Since governors often hold veto power over redistricting, any potential expansion of Republican governors, on the political map, could be detrimental to Americans who voted for change in 2008. Democrats currently hold 26 of the 50 governorships in America. The five states most desirable for both parties are:
Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Texas and Florida, since bigger states are allocated more political representation.

We must remember the 2000 Presidential Elections was stolen for Republicans—by disenfranchising Black Floridians. Republican dirty tricksters targeted Blacks, knowing they usually vote for Democrats. They succeeded in purging many Blacks from voter rolls using various bullying tactics and outright fraud. Al Gore should’ve been president.

Instead, George W. Bush was chosen for us by the Supreme Court. Now, after eight years of war and tax-breaks for the rich culminating in the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, the Republicans are waiting to reenact the same failed

Ironically, these are the same self-righteous people who feigned outrage over phony voter-fraud allegations made against ACORN. Although now totally exonerated, ACORN was de-funded by a spineless Congress, without the benefit of
a fair hearing. ACORN was no doubt targeted, by Republicans, because of their efforts in registering minority voters.

With the 2012 Presidential Election looming on the horizon, Republican incumbents, especially governors, must be scrutinized in states where Republicans may see advantages in diluting the power of democratic voters. In the long run, America must commission bipartisan or independent bodies to draw these lines. For now, we must police Republicans from further stealing

We should start by voting for those who equally represent all Americans, next Tuesday.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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