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Archive for January, 2010

From the Journal Courier:

A bill that would stress the preservation of traditional neighborhoods in redistricting is eligible for a vote in the Senate. Supporters say the guidelines could prevent gerrymandered districts, but others say the bill doesn’t go far enough because it wouldn’t explicitly prohibit political data from being used to create state legislative districts.

Another bill eligible for a Senate vote would create a study committee that could ultimately lead to an independent commission to draw new maps starting in 2021.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 28 January 2010 03:57

From Knoxville News:

“When we sent the United States Senate a resolution (urging some action be taken), they read that resolution,” he said. “Now they don’t even read them. They just pitch them.”

Washington has grown ever more irresponsible and inattentive to state government interests, he said, and has done so on a bipartisan basis.

“One party is just about as sorry as the other up there (in Washington). It’d be about a tossup,” he said.

To change the situation, Niceley said, legislatures need to play political “hard ball.”
“The future of the free world is at stake,” he said. “The ball needs to be hard.”

Legislators should annually agree on a list to be sent Congress outlining “what they should do and what they shouldn’t do,” he said.

“The state Legislature has a right to re-district (U.S. House districts) every two years, if we want to,” he said. “We need to start that…. (showing each congressman) a picture of your (re-districted) map if you don’t pay attention.”

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Last Updated on Thursday, 28 January 2010 12:11

From the Associated Press:

The amendments as well would require maps to follow existing city, county and geographical boundaries where feasible.The proposals have drawn opposition from state and federal lawmakers of both major parties who say they would reduce minority representation and result in turning redistricting over to the courts.

The critics include U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown, a Democrat, and Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican, who each appeared before a joint meeting of state House and Senate reapportionment committees last week.

Brown told the lawmakers it’s not possible to “take politics out of politics” and that she’s afraid the proposals would turn the clock back to before 1992 when she was one of the first blacks elected to Congress from Florida in 129 years.

Brown represents the 3rd Congressional District that snakes more than 100 miles from Jacksonville, where she lives, to Orange County to pick up enough black voters to form a majority.

Diaz-Balart, a Cuban-American from Miami, represents the 25th District, which includes a large Hispanic base on the east coast but stretches across the southern end of Florida’s peninsula to the west coast.

The proposals put minority districts at risk through “standards that are conflicting,” Diaz-Balart said.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2010 04:26