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Indicted DeLay co-conspirator Jim Ellis and "racial gerrymandering"

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StefanX Donating Member (801 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:43 PM
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Indicted DeLay co-conspirator Jim Ellis and "racial gerrymandering"
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 04:02 PM by StefanX /

Ellis was also the behind-the-scene manager of the Republican redistricting coup that in 2003 resulted in the gerrymandering of Texas congressional districts and the disenfranchisement of minority voters in the state.

The gerrymandering of congressional districts to deny nonwhite people representation in Congress further dampens peoples faith in their own political agency. In Texas, for example, Republicans under the guidance of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay drew up a congressional map that changed the current 17-15 Democratic majority in the Texas congressional delegation to one with a 22-10 Republican majority. As Delay political aide Jim Ellis wrote in a memo released by Texas Democrats: We must stress that a map that returns {Democratic U.S. Reps. Martin} Frost, {Chet} Edwards and {Lloyd} Doggett is unacceptable and not worth all the time invested in this project.

DeLay's minion in this exercise in domination was his lobbyist, Jim Ellis. In one memo, Ellis said that any plan that didn't get those three Democrats out of Congress was not acceptable. Sadly, the Legislature's GOP leadership meekly capitulated.

"We need our map," an October memo from DeLay headquarters said.

DeLay eventually got his map, finalized in a shameful travesty of the redistricting process. It is a complete mess, of course, and a gross insult to Texans of any political persuasion. Districts run from Central Austin to the Rio Grande Valley, from the Oklahoma state line to south of Fort Worth.

DeLay's map does violence to much of Texas. It is a radical change that moves about half of the state's population into a different district. And while a little more than half the state votes Republican, DeLay's map gives the GOP nearly 70 percent of the congressional seats.

Democrats are arguing that the map is racially gerrymandered, that it disenfranchises minority voters to give Republicans a 22-10 majority in the state congressional delegation. The Justice Department will determine this month whether the map violates the Voting Rights Act that protects minority populations. Democrats also contend that the redistricting effort was illegal because the districts already had been redrawn after the 2000 Census, an argument recently upheld in Colorado's similar fight.

There are multiple reasons for the Justice Department and the courts to discard DeLay's map. The map itself is a travesty; the process that begot it was a mockery; and DeLay's heavy hand in its formulation crossed the line into partisan gerrymandering.

Whatever the courts decide, Texans have seen that their Republican leaders trembled before DeLay and gave him a congressional map that cheats them out of fair representation in Washington.

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:52 PM
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1. A lower organism than Delay you will not find...
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