Redistricting deal, probably not, just political posturing

Posted in Redistricting, Special Session at 3:46 pm by wcnews

Came across this last night and It’s hard to understand why this report got as much play as it did, Texas redistricting-deal outlines emerge. Mainly because of the sourcing in the article.

A Republican lawmaker and an attorney for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus said there was a consensus that minority groups would accept maps that create one to two more congressional districts in which Texas minorities hold sway and five to seven more seats in the state House.


Some on the committee seemed frustrated that Attorney General Greg Abbott — a driving force in the redistricting process — has not attended any court hearings or hearings by the Legislature.

“Why wouldn’t Attorney General Abbott let us know what he’s thinking?” asked state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, head of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

Abbott’s office said last week that that the attorney general believes the interim maps are constitutional. The chairman of the redistricting committee, state Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, on Monday said he has no plans to call Abbott to testify.

Garza, the lawyer for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, said that if the Legislature does what Perry and Abbott want, it would make a charade of the fact-finding process that’s going on now. “It would be evidence of intentional discrimination,” Garza said.

In other hearings, state Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, has posed tough questions to witnesses advocating maps other than those supported by Perry and Abbott. But on Monday, he seemed more interested in what the price of peace with minority groups would be.

“We’re in 98 percent agreement,” Villalba said.

Garza said one to two additional seats in Congress and five to seven in the state House could be the basis for a deal.

“We’re not advocating maximization,” he said. “If we were talking maximization, it would be a much higher number.”

Some observers have said it’s in the interest of Republicans to make a deal with minority Democrats because if they leave map drawing to the courts, it will be done without regard to who is an incumbent.

I’m with Kuff in being skeptical of this. The article points to a deal and quotes a freshman GOP house member and the lawyer for MALC. Those are not really big players in the Texas GOP. And the plan seems very generous to Democrats. Perry and the wing nuts didn’t want a special session to give away House and Senate seats to the Democrats.

Burka’s take is much more realistic.

I suspect Perry is furious with Abbott about this ham-handed redistricting play, which is rapidly developing into a fiasco. It really makes one wonder whether Abbott knows what he is doing and whether he is adept at the law. The triangulation among Perry, Abbott, and Dewhurst has turned in Dewhurst’s favor; it looks as if Abbott has been isolated and Dewhurst has Perry’s back now. This reinforces my belief that Perry wants to run again, but it won’t be any picnic if he has to face Abbott in a Republican primary.

Why would Perry want to run again? The answer is simple: It’s the lifestyle, stupid. He lives the life of an Oriental potentate — even as I write, he is off in New York living a life of luxury, the best hotels in New York, the best restaurants, the kingpins of Wall Street, and don’t forget that state pension. By running again, he extends his ability to lead the Good Life for four more years, plus run for president on the taxpayers’ dime. Nice work if you can get it, and he’s got it.

Texas is ruled by one party. It’s unaccountable and arrogant and see the state government as it’s playground. None of what happens in this special session will do anything to make the lives of Texans better. But it will allow those who run our state to score political points. Especially as the Senate Redistricting Committee rubber-stamped the interim redistricting plan today.

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