Monday, September 11, 2006

Gerrymandering

It's kind of old news, but the visual monstrosity is new to me. A couple years ago, Tom Delay and the Texans for a Republican Majority created a new district map for Texas. Here it is.


Three words: "What. The. Fuck." How is it constitutional or even ethical to carve up a state like this? I know it's hard to see - get the big view here. My personal favorite is 10, which begins in North Central Austin and stretches all the way to the suburbs of Houston. Since they have so much in common. In fact, Austin is basically carved up like a Thanksgiving Turkey. District 25 includes South Austin and also borders the Rio Grande River. Naturally. The entire state is carefully cut in such a way that even though there are nothing but Republicans in office, it will probably stay that way forever.

I mean, could there be an example of disenfranchising voters be as blatant as this? OK, maybe this.

5 comments:

Adam said...

This answers a lot of questions. I never really knew what politicians spent their time doing. Clearly this would take a lot of work to configure - I guess our representatives are actually doing work.

So what do we do about this?

Ash said...

The implications of what the Republicans did when they redrew the Texas map are significant. I think most people were shocked when they saw how Congressman Lloyd Doggett, a real advocate for the poor, came out, losing alot of Travis County and then gaining this strange snake of a district down to the Valley. Unfortunately, any legal notion of "blatant" unconstitutionality seems moot, given the Supreme Court ruled a few months ago that what the Republicans generally did was within the purview of the law, and they ruled that only three districts didn't meet constitutional muster (Doggett's included). A new map has been offered by the Texas AG, as well as MALDEF, and both give Doggett back alot of his district. The decision really makes the midterm 2006 November elections all the more important, because whichever party wins the state legislature and governorships (whether Democrat or Republican) now has the opportunity to do exactly what Republicans did in Texas, and use it to their advantage. I personally don't see how redrawing districts between Census years really works. Here's the Supreme Court opinion http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/05pdf/05-204.pdf#search=%22SUPREME%20COURT%20OPINION%20REDISTRICTING%22

jo said...

that onion article is hilarious

gk said...

I remember the Supreme Court by and large upheld this monstrosity. And I still have the same three word response.

Isn't the whole purpose of the Supreme Court and the Constitution to protect the rights of the minority (i.e. non-Republicans in Texas)?

I mean, by living in Texas my presidential vote is already pointless. I would hope that my state congressional votes aren't pointless too.

wds said...

Can you produce similar maps
for other states besides TX?

I like your graphics style better than others