Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Will redistricting be the compromise?

I have written on several occasions that I am skeptical of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s rhetoric concerning political reapportionment.

He has pushed for creating an independent body that would take over preparation of the maps that detail boundaries of political districts. Of course, the definition of “independent” can be open to interpretation.

It's not just a Texas issue. Provided by Texas Politics Project.
AS IN I wonder if it means anyone “independent” of the current political leadership who would deliberately favor the current political minority. It makes me suspect it to be an effort to undermine the current process – by which the boundaries are drawn by the legislators who (theoretically) are the representatives of the people who elected them.

In short, the people who couldn’t win the elections are now trying to find a new way to win – rather than going out and winning the election themselves.

So it is with some interest that I try to figure out what the significance is of the Supreme Court of the United States’ latest ruling on Monday – one that rejects the Arizona Legislature’s efforts to strike down the state Independent Redistricting Commission. It was created following a voter referendum, and was meant to take away the ability of legislators to draw political boundaries to favor themselves.

Although the real harm from the current process of redistricting is when politicos draw boundaries meant to screw over their opposition.

THE HIGH COURT on Monday ruled that there is nothing preventing a state from implementing a redistricting procedure that relies on someone other than the legislature to do the dirty work of political map-making.

RAUNER: Did high court give him a boost?
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that officials in California are viewing the ruling as supportive of their own state’s efforts. Which makes me suspect Rauner was very happy as well.

The governor now has a very high authority (the same one that pleased progressives by backing healthcare reform AND gay marriage just a few days earlier) in his favor.

Could this become the measure that makes Democrats now hostile to Rauner for his anti-organized labor rhetoric a little bit willing to compromise? Heck, could support for this Rauner desire become THE compromise issue that allows for the state to get something resembling a budget compromise in coming weeks?

OF COURSE, I’M not thinking that Democrats in the Legislature would back something meant to deliberately undermine themselves. I suspect we’d have to get a commission that wasn’t so blatantly biased in favor of any political party.

MADIGAN: He'll figure out way to protect self
Because the honest truth is that there is no such thing as absolute non-biased. Everybody is going to have their preferences they will want to favor. And for those who suggest a computer to take the human element out, I’d question the biases of those people who program the device.

But is the fact that this issue appears to have some sticking power means Democrats in this state ought to try to get a grasp on it so that it doesn’t wind up being implemented in a completely hostile form.

Otherwise we’re going to continue with the current format in Illinois, which is one that always amazes political people elsewhere – the idea that the balance of power can (and often does) fall to the draw out of a hat (or, one time, from a crystal bowl once owned by Abraham Lincoln).

IT WAS PUT into the state Constitution that way because it was believed that the fear of an all-or-nothing draw, with someone getting nothing, would be so fearsome it would force people to cooperate.

Instead, the greed of political people and the chance that they can get everything at the expense of their opposition has turned out to be stronger.

I don’t doubt that some Republicans are viewing the 2018 gubernatorial election as being all-important because it would give the GOP a veto come the 2021 reapportionment that could result in them having a chance at the “all-or-nothing” prize.

Which could also influence the Dems with their current veto-proof majority that prevents Rauner from being able to push his ideological will down their throats to consider this issue further – because nothing lasts forever.


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