Via Jeremy Dibbell, this story on a possibly very important piece of legislation:
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) became the first Republican to join a Democratic effort to limit gerrymandering.
Wamp yesterday signed on as a co-sponsor of a bill introduced by Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) that would establish bipartisan commissions to redraw state congressional districts every ten years.
A laudable effort.
Can’t help noting that Democrat interest, and ‘pubbie disinterest, seems to follow the Reversal of Fortune of 1994. My party’s wonderful Clinton Years.
Are you sure this isn’t merely fine tuning gerrymandering every ten years?
Please, Texas Democrats took gerrymandering to a whole new level. The Dems lost Texas, and now the districts reflect the political make up of the state. By the way, Delay’s district was carved up, and it makes his reelection harder, not easier. Welcome to politics the Texas way, it’s not for the faint of heart.
I think it’s a good think to require contiguous districts, non-partisan drawing of boundaries, etc. But I don’t think it’ll do a whole lot for bringing competitiveness back into the process in the districts – there’s been so much shift towards ideological soulmates living in the same districts in the last 20 years. All over the country, people are more and more living in predominantly-Reep or predominantly-Dem communities. Nothing you do in districting is going to get you a Reep from the SF Bay area, nor will you get Dems from Biloxi.
Cities are full of Dems, collar counties full of Reeps. In swing states you may get some real contests – Washington, Minnesota, Michigan. But I still think it’s a good thing to do.