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  Texas House should support redistricting reform
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ContributorDFWDem 
Last EditedDFWDem  Mar 15, 2009 02:26pm
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CategoryEditorial
MediaNewspaper - Dallas Morning News
News DateFriday, March 13, 2009 08:25:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionYou'd think state Sen. Jeff Wentworth would be so tired of banging his head against the wall of the Texas House that he would just say the heck with his crusade to change the way our state draws congressional boundaries.

The good news is that he hasn't. Texas became the butt of Jay Leno jokes after the Legislature's last redistricting in 2003, when the rancor was so intense that Democratic legislators fled the state instead of participate in a debate they believed was stacked against them.

As he has since 1993, Wentworth, a San Antonio Republican, has introduced legislation to create an independent redistricting commission that would consist of four Republican appointees, four Democratic appointees and a non-voting chairman chosen by the members. (Get this: No elected officials or lobbyists allowed!) Instead of partisan legislators drawing the lines for congressional districts, which inevitably leads the majority to protect friendly incumbents and punish enemies, the board would have that task.

The Senate previously has passed versions of this plan, but not the House. This year could be different.
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