Texas Redistricting

Felon-in-Chief Scalia Will Decide on Texas Redistricting
Texas Redistricting

"On Jan. 9, plaintiffs' attorneys in the federal lawsuit over congressional redistricting... filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay or an injunction of the new plan, upheld in district court Jan. 6. The plaintiff's appellate brief argues that the 2-1 lower court decision erred in failing to overrule the map as a mid-decade 'extreme partisan gerrymander'; that it misread legal precedent concerning the Voting Rights Act and therefore allowed the dismantling of protected minority influence districts; [etc.] ... The request for an appeal initially rests with Justice Antonin Scalia, who has court responsibility for Texas. His decision is expected shortly -- the congressional filing deadline is Friday, Jan. 16. The court could also reject the stay, but agree to take the case (perhaps combining it with the Pennsylvania case), and the elections would proceed under the new map, pending the court's decision." We DEMAND that Scalia recuse himself from this partisan battle!

Dems Will Take Texas Redistricting to the Supreme Court
Texas Redistricting

DCCC Chairman Robert T. Matsui writes, "Top Republicans - from Tom DeLay to the Bush White House - have sacrificed Hispanics and African Americans to strengthen the right-wing of the Republican Party. Now, it's up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether to dismantle the Voting Rights Act and roll back more than 40 years of progress... Hispanics and African Americans are the true victims of this unprecedented and shameless Republican assault on the Voting Rights Act. Despite all his dishonest rhetoric about being a 'different kind of Republican,' Bush will go down in history as the Republican leader who sacrificed minority Americans to help the extremists in his own political party. No election year 'outreach' campaign - no matter how slick and expensive - will change that ugly fact. We intend to make this injustice committed by Tom DeLay and the Republican Party an issue in our campaigns."

Judges Uphold DeLay's Texas Redistricting Scheme
Texas Redistricting

"A three-judge federal panel Tuesday upheld a new congressional map for Texas that the Republicans pushed through the Legislature after months of turmoil and two walkouts by the Democrats. The decision followed a December trial in which Democrats and minority groups argued that the new map tramples the rights of Hispanic and black voters... Democratic Rep. Martin Frost (search), whose district is being decimated under the new map, said the ruling turns 'back the clock on nearly 40 years of progress for minority Americans.' Democrats had argued the map amounted to a right-wing power grab led by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas. DeLay said he hopes the Democrats 'are now satisfied with the fairness and finality of the federal court decision'... But Democrats and minority groups said they will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and ask the court to immediately prevent the map from taking effect."

Dems Say Texas Redistricting Staged in DC
Texas Redistricting

"On the eve of a trial that could affect the balance of power in Congress, Democrats filed court papers Wednesday purporting to show that a vote to draw new congressional maps in Texas was not a local initiative but a coup orchestrated out of Washington, D.C... The documents filed Wednesday include memos and e-mails written by Republican aides in Washington. They were obtained by Democrats after the November deposition of a top aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, the recipient of several of the memos. The papers show, among other things, that Republican aides in Washington differentiated between a map that was proposed by lawmakers in Texas and 'our plan' - a more ambitious version designed to solidify the GOP majority in Congress. 'There is no doubt that the proposed redistricting plan now being considered by the court reflects neither legislative intent nor the interests of the people of Texas,' said Garry Hebert, an attorney representing organizations that challenged the new maps."

DeLay Subpoenaed in Texas Redistrict Case
Texas Redistricting

"Texas Democrats have subpoenaed House Majority Leader Tom DeLay as a witness in a lawsuit to overturn a congressional district map DeLay helped push through the Texas Legislature. Democrats want to depose DeLay and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, but are expecting the Texas Republican to fight the subpoena, said Tom Eisenhauer, an aide to Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas. Eisenhauer said DeLay should respond to the subpoena because he openly pushed for the new map. 'Tom Delay is happy to brag about his new map until he has to take an oath to tell the truth. What does he have to hide now?' Eisenhauer said. 'He was the instigator, facilitator and author of the new map, that's why they want to depose him about it.' DeLay spokesman Stuart Roy said attorneys 'would take appropriate action' in response to the subpoenas. He said a response would be filed Monday."

Texas Redistricting E-mail Exposes Right-Wing Coup
Texas Redistricting

Republicans claim they are redistricting Texas Congressional districts to make it fairer. But House Republican staffer Joby Fortson exposed the REAL agenda in a secret memo to his Republican colleagues. "Subject: R's will pick up 6-7 seats now in Texas. The maps are now official. I have studied them and this is the most agressive [sic] map I have ever seen. This has a real national impact that should assure that Republicans keep the House no matter the national mood." The top priority was to defeat Rep. Lloyd Doggett, and here is Fortson's analysis: "ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha - The district goes from North central Austin (NOT liberal Hyde Park but more north conservative Plugerville area) and stretches to Katy Texas outside of Houston. Robert called this the 290 district. It is very Republican and will be where my friend Brian Walters will be likely running. Littelfield already is a consultant. (sweitches [sic] to R)" Defeat ALL Republicans!

Texas GOP Makes Another Redistricting Bid, Dems Promise to Fight
Texas Redistricting

WashPost: "Texas Republican leaders unveiled a congressional redistricting plan yesterday that Democrats characterized as an illegal attempt to solidify GOP control of the U.S. House by diluting the political influence of minority voters while handing Republicans at least seven more seats in Congress. The final details of the plan, the subject of an intense five-month struggle that included two walkouts from the State Capitol in Austin by Democrats that blocked earlier efforts to redraw congressional district lines, were hammered out early yesterday... Democrats vowed to challenge the plan in federal court and predicted that it will never go into effect. 'The map is clearly illegal and will be struck down by the courts,' said Rep. Martin Frost (D-Tex.), one of seven Democrats whose chances of reelection would be endangered under the new district lines. 'I don't know what the Justice Department will do, but if they play it straight they'll knock it down, too.'"

Return of Texas Democrats Sparks Celebration
Texas Redistricting

NY Times reports: "The boycotting Texas Democrats returned today to the State Senate for the first time since fleeing to New Mexico on July 28, but not before the chamber quickly adjourned, ushering in a raucous floor rally by the 10 lawmakers and their cheering supporters. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a Republican who is presiding officer of the Senate, said he had never encountered anything quite like it."

The Daily Show Profiles the Runaway Texas Dems
Texas Redistricting

Watch The Daily Show's Stephen Colbert interview a few of the Killer D's, and hear their touching stories about life under Tom 'The Whip' Delay.

The Ghosts of Mississippi Haunt Texas Today
Texas Redistricting

"Salon.com's Michelle Goldberg points out that race looms large in the Texas power grab: 'Nine of the 10 senators remaining in Albuquerque are black or Hispanic; the other one represents a district that is mainly minority. And within a few years, experts say, Texas will join California as a state where Latinos, African-Americans and other minorities will outnumber Anglos. So it is not far-fetched to say that how this drama unfolds will determine whether minority voters in Texas gain power proportionate to their numbers.... 'This is an effort to seriously gut minority voting rights,' says Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, head of the Texas Democratic Senate delegation.' I can't help but hear echoes of the ghosts of Mississippi - the Mississippi of the mid-1980s, when white state legislators engaged in a campaign of 'massive resistance,' doing all they could to crack, pack, and stack black majority districts in order to deny blacks the fruits of hard-won voting rights."

Lone Texas Dem Surrenders, But Our Heroes Plan National Campaign Against Bush
Texas Redistricting

"Ten boycotting Democratic senators turned their Texas congressional redistricting battle into a challenge to Bush's re-election Wednesday, a day after hopes of stopping a Republican plan in the Legislature appeared crushed by the defection of [Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston]. The Democrats plan to meet today with some of their party's presidential candidates, hold news conferences in the nation's capital and join a national barnstorming campaign to motivate minority voters for the 2004 presidential elections. The senators said they want to pressure Bush into intervening to stop the Texas redistricting process... The Democratic senators also are tied to a national barnstorming drive organized by MoveOn.org to link the Bush administration to efforts to diminish minority voting rights in the Texas redistricting battle, the 2000 presidential vote in Florida and the ongoing gubernatorial recall election in California. MoveOn also is conducting a print and radio advertising campaign. "

'Texas 11' Sues State GOP
Texas Redistricting

El Paso Times reports: "What some [simpletons] see as skipping work, the 11 Texas Senate Democrats holed up in Albuquerque consider political expression. And on Wednesday, they asked a federal court to protect that First Amendment right. The stakes in a summerlong battle over congressional redistricting intensified 24 days ago when the Democrats bolted for New Mexico, shutting down the Texas Capitol and provoking fines and sanctions by their Republican colleagues. 'Anyone who's watched this knows that this is a political statement by these senators. That is a core First Amendment right,' said Austin lawyer Max Renea Hicks, who represents the Democrats. Democrats contend that changing the state's 32 congressional districts will harm blacks and Hispanics and that the only way to protect their interests is to prevent the redistricting bill from being passed... But Hicks said forcing the Democrats to return would be tantamount to passing legislation harmful to the people they represent."

BushRove is Orchestrating the Texas Redistricting Mess
Texas Redistricting

Josh Marshall writes, "If you're wondering whether the Texas redistricting fracas is being orchestrated from Washington, look at this article in today's Dallas Morning News. The one Republican who's broken ranks over redistricting is Bill Ratliff. He's not just any state senator. Bush was succeeded by then-Lt. Governor Rick Perry. Ratliff's colleagues then chose him to serve as acting Lt. Governor, an extremely powerful office in that state. Today Ratliff revealed that 'in the summer of 2001 he was asked by Tom DeLay ... whether he, as acting lieutenant governor, would suspend the Senate's two-thirds rule so the GOP could push through a favorable congressional redistricting plan during a special session.' Add that to this from the Houston Chronicle in mid-June: 'Rove called state Sen. Ratliff.... Ratliff, who is undecided, said Rove stopped short of saying Bush wanted him to vote for the bill but 'indicated that it could be important to the president.'"

Texas Republicans Vote to Fine Fugitive Democrats
Texas Redistricting

"Republicans in the Texas Senate voted on Tuesday to fine 11 fugitive Democrats up to $5,000 a day each to force them to return from New Mexico to vote on a plan that would add Republican seats in the U.S. Congress. The Democrats angrily vowed they would not pay the fines and would remain out of state and out of the reach of Texas police, as long as necessary to stop the Republican power grab. The Senate vote came 16 days after the Democrats fled to Albuquerque in neighboring New Mexico to break a quorum in the state senate and stop a proposal to redraw the state's congressional districts. The plan likely would change the state's delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives from 17 Democrats and 15 Republicans to 22 Republicans and 10 Democrats in the next election, adding to a narrow Republican majority in the House. 'It's a crime and it's called official oppression,' Democratic state senator Juan Hinojosa said of the proposed fines." Free the Texas Dems!

Thousands Converged in Austin to Protest Redrawing Districts
Texas Redistricting

AP reports: "Thousands of sweat-drenched Texans braved stifling summer heat Saturday to rally on the Capitol lawn in protest of a Republican push to redraw state congressional lines in their favor. 'The people of Texas said 'no' once (Republicans) started drawing the maps. They said 'no' with a strong voice and they didn't listen. So here we are, standing out here in 100-degree weather to show that we mean it,' said Austin-resident Ginger McGilvray... Several people chanted 'Recall Rick,' referring to Republican Gov. Rick Perry who has called two special sessions to take up congressional redistricting, despite staunch opposition statewide. The measure failed in regular session and again during the first-called special session. This time around, Senate Democrats have fought the redistricting measure by fleeing the state to Albuquerque, N.M., where they say they'll stay until redistricting legislation is dead."

Texans Rally Against Republican Redistricting, Demand 'Recall Rick' Perry
Texas Redistricting

"Thousands gathered Saturday to rally against a Republican push to redraw state congressional lines and in favor of the Democratic state senators who fled to New Mexico to scuttle the effort. 'The people of Texas said 'no' once (Republicans) started drawing the maps,' said protester Ginger McGilvray. 'They said 'no' with a strong voice and they didn't listen,' 'So here we are, standing out here ... to show that we mean it.' Despite muggy temperatures that neared 100 degrees, between 2,000 and 4,000 protesters rallied at the Capitol and cheered relatives of the 11 Democrats holed up in an Albuquerque hotel. Their absence has brought the Senate to a standstill because the 31-member chamber needs two-thirds of its members present to conduct business. Several protesters chanted 'Recall Rick,' referring to Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who has called two special sessions to take up congressional redistricting. The first effort failed after House Democrats fled to Oklahoma."