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Fri Jan 27, 2012, 04:12 PM

Prospects brighten for settlement that could save April election

Texas Politics blog Houston Chronicle 1/27/12

Prospects brighten for settlement that could save April election

A leading player in the state’s redistricting turmoil said this morning he’s hopeful that both sides are closing in on a settlement that will salvage Texas’ April 3 primary.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been meeting with representatives of minority groups that sued the state last year to stop new political boundaries from taking effect on grounds the decade-long maps ignore profound population growth of minority Texans – mostly Hispanics.

“I am confident that the parties are working in good faith and have enough time to craft a compromise that will assure that the April primaries go on as scheduled,” said state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, chairman of the House Mexican American Legislative Caucus, which is one of the parties suing the state.

Caught off guard as he was preparing for a 1 p.m. court hearing in San Antonio before three federal judges refereering the redistricting fight, Martinez Fischer acknowledged that lawyers for his organization have been talking with Abbott and others in the case about a settlement. Martinez Fischer said he could not share details.


Well that's an interesting development.

8 replies, 979 views

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Response to sonias (Original post)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 04:33 PM

1. This makes a lot more sense in view of the testimony given yesterday

Posted under a separate thread. I'm just now getting my head wrapped around the concept of a compromise map that both parties actually agree to so that the April united primary election can go forward.

State's witness concedes point in hearing on Texas districts

Read more here: Fort Worth Star-Telegram Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012

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Response to sonias (Original post)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 09:46 PM

2. GOP is afraid of split primary

I was following Michael Li's twitter feed on today's hearing in the San Antonio proceeding. This feed had three or four different lawyers tweeting their impressions of the proceeding. Evidently, the judges told the audience to try to tweet is a less loud fashion. The proceeding was interesting.

These are my opinions and not from the Txredistricting.org site. First, it is clear that the Texas GOP does not want a split primary. The San Antonio Court made clear that it was strongly considering a split primary where the Presidential, US Senate and a couple of Statewide races were held on April 3 and the primary for the remaining races would be held in late May or June. A number of GOP elected officials have tea party candidates running against them in the GOP primary and a split primary would lead to low turnout for the second primary which would help the tea party candidates.

Second,it is also clear that the GOP is not doing well in the DC proceeding and is worried about losing face if the DC court rules against them. There has been some decent evidence of actual intent to discriminate produced in this trial and there is some chance that the DC Circuit could find that all of the maps were based on an actual intent to discriminate. Such a finding would hurt the State of Texas' lawsuit on the Texas voter id law in that it may show a pattern of an intent to discriminate by the Texas GOP. I have a feeling that the litigators in this case do not have a good feeling about the evidence and the reaction of the court and so think that a settlement is the safe way to go.

The Democrats do not want a split primary but they do not fear this result. I hope that the Democrats hold out for a good deal in that I think that the GOP is the party who is pushing for this settlement.
I think that it would be a mess to have a spit primary but we could cope.

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 10:17 PM

3. Reports: Deal on congressional map could give Democrats 13-14 seats, protect Doggett

Me too - I follow Michael Li's twitter feed.

Texas Redistricting 1/27/12
Reports: Deal on congressional map could give Democrats 13-14 seats, protect Doggett

The Hill is reporting that a possible negotiated deal on the congressional map could give Democrats 13-14 seats, including protecting Lloyd Doggett and creating a possible Democratic leaning seat in North Texas.

More here.


Looking good!

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Response to sonias (Original post)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 10:26 PM

4. Texas Dems, minority groups near huge win with redistricting settlement

The Hill 1/27/12

Texas Dems, minority groups near huge win with redistricting settlement

The Texas state attorneys defending the state’s GOP-drawn redistricting plans from court challenges have reached out to settle litigation, according to sources in the state. The settlement would give minority groups and Democrats what they’ve been demanding from the start: more heavily minority, Democratic-leaning House seats.

The result would likely mean at least four more Texas Democrats in Congress as of next year, a good start on the 25 or so seats Democrats need to win to retake control of the House.

“They’re backed up against the wall and have to come to some agreement and it’ll be awfully favorable on our end,” said one of the plaintiffs in the case.

Another plaintiff agreed. “It’s clear they know they’re in a vulnerable position and that’s why they want to settle,” he said.

Any settlement would need to get the multiple minority group plaintiffs on board, and would create more majority-Hispanic and majority-African American congressional districts. Two of the plaintiffs predicted that an agreement will be reached early next week.


This would so totally rock. I will be dancing in the streets if this comes to pass!

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Response to sonias (Original post)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 10:36 PM

5. Settlement talks under way in Texas redistricting

AAS 1/27/12

Settlement talks under way in Texas redistricting
(snip)
Negotiations between the state and minority groups were under way even before the court made its ruling late Friday. Democratic state Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer, chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, said Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott had approached his group to make a serious attempt to reach a compromise that would keep the state's April primary.

With that trial winding down, Martinez-Fischer said the strong case made by minority groups to the Washington court could be driving the state's readiness to talk about reaching a compromise on the maps that will be used in the upcoming election while the two court cases are resolved.

"What's significant is that there's never been any discussions. There are now," Martinez-Fischer said. "Something's motivating that."

Addressing the San Antonio court, Assistant Attorney General David Mattax characterized the discussions as purely geared toward getting a temporary map in place so the state could keep its primary. Anything agreed-upon, in other words, would not be final.

"An interim map for 2012. That's what we need to get done now," Mattax told the court.

But minority groups questioned if that was even still feasible after the Supreme Court ordered the San Antonio to take a second try at drafting temporary political maps for the 2012 election.


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Response to sonias (Original post)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 10:42 PM

6. SA Court Issues Ultimatum - Agree to Maps by Feb 6th or no April primary


The Quorum Report
January 27, 2012 6:26 PM

SAN ANTONIO COURT ISSUES ULTIMATUM--AGREED UPON MAPS BY FEB 6 OR NO APRIL 3 PRIMARY
Judge Garcia says there will be interim maps--plaintiffs will have to give on some issues

The San Antonio panel has adjourned for the evening after telling the litigants that if they want to have an April 3rd primary, they must submit and agreed upon map by February 6. No agreed map by February 6, no April 3 primary

In the alternative, the litigants must submit a list of districts they agree must be remedied by February 6.

Judge Orlando Garcia underscored that there will be an interim map and the plaintiffs will have to give ground on some issues.


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Response to sonias (Original post)

Sat Jan 28, 2012, 08:43 AM

7. No filing deadline or ballot draw this week

One of the key rulings yesterday was that the February 1 filing deadline, February 3 ballot order draw, and all other deadlines in its December 16 order be suspended until further order of the court.

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Response to sonias (Original post)

Mon Jan 30, 2012, 11:23 AM

8. Tight deadlines may end up favoring Democrats

Texas Tribune 1/30/12

The Brief: Top Texas News for Jan. 30, 2012

(snip)
“What’s significant is that there’s never been any discussions. There are now,” said state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, the San Antonio Democrat who chairs the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, one of the minority groups with which the state is negotiating. “Something’s motivating that.”

And The Hill says such negotiations would likely give Texas Democrats at least four more seats in Congress (the party needs about 25 to retake the House).

“They’re backed up against the wall and have to come to some agreement, and it’ll be awfully favorable on our end,” said one of the plaintiffs in the case. Another plaintiff said “it’s clear they know they’re in a vulnerable position, and that’s why they want to settle.”

Two of the plaintiffs said an agreement would likely be reached early this week.

News of the negotiations came a day after testimony wrapped in a Washington-based trial to determine whether the state's original Republican-drawn redistricting maps violate federal Voting Rights Act standards.


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