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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | May 08, 2003

Rove is behind re-redistricting efforts

I wrote Tuesday about DeLay's efforts to get states with newly empowered GOP majorities to redistrict yet again in order to solidify their hold on the US House.

Well, it turns out the strategy goes higher than DeLay -- it's being orchestrated by none other than Karl Rove.

The Colorado congressman who stands to gain the most from statehouse Republicans' last-minute redistricting plan says he had nothing to do with the maneuvering, even though the White House acknowledged Wednesday that President Bush's top political operative was involved. [...]

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel acknowledged Wednesday that Karl Rove, a powerful top aide to Bush, "did speak with one GOP state legislator" in Colorado. But he would not name the legislator and would not comment on Democratic allegations that the Colorado redistricting plan is part of a broader campaign to solidify Republican control of Washington.

Lots of denials to go around, but this whole strategy has Rove's fingerprints all over it.

The article also has this disappointing tidbit:

"If Republicans don't cut this out, Democrats may have to resort to self-defense," said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo. But she was contradicted by a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Greg Speed, who said, "That's not something that's under consideration."
I already fired off an angry missive to the DCCC about this. This sort of unilateral disarmament will keep us permanently in the minority. It has to stop.

(The Political State Report's Colorado representative, Luis, has more on the saga.)

In the "better news" department, indications are that the redistricting efforts in Texas are likely headed to failure. PSR's Charles Kuffner reports that the Texas Senate GOP needs a 2/3 majority to consider the redistricting bill. 11 senators can block debate. All 12 Democratic senators are holding firm in opposition, joined by an additional two Republicans, leaving the "pro" side short four votes in the 31-member Texas Senate.

But I won't rest easy until the legislative term is over -- we all know what can happen once Rove starts turning the screws. And Texas is the GOP's holy grail -- the redistricting proposal would change the state's US House delegation from a 17-15 Dem advantage to a 20-12 GOP advantage.

Posted May 08, 2003 09:10 AM | Comments (42)


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