According to today’s Taunton Gazette:
Looking forward to 2011, the Massachusetts Republican Party is already starting to organize its efforts to redraw the map of legislative and congressional districts throughout the state.
In Massachusetts, the state legislature has the authority to determine the boundaries of voting districts, but the state Republican Party says it will propose maps of new legislative and congressional districts and be prepared to file civil rights lawsuits to enforce redistricting requirements.
Daniel B. Winslow, the man the GOP picked to head up the redistricting effort, said the party’s goal is to ensure the “fair and impartial drawing of district lines that protect the civil rights of minorities and all voters.”
If you recognize Daniel Winslow’s name, he was the former Chief Legal Counsel to Mitt Romney for the initial year’s of Romney’s Governorship.
Apparently, the GOP is hoping that the 2010 census will show a population decline, Massachusetts will lose a representative, and all congressional districts would have to be redrawn.
For starters, I do not think losing a vote in the House of Representatives in Washington would be good for our state.
To quote John Walsh, the incredibly hard working Chair of the state’s Democratic Party:
“They think losing a congressman is an opportunity?” he said. “That’s ridiculous… Only the Republican Party would consider the loss of congressional representation to be an exciting opportunity.”
Walsh said his party is working hard to make sure every Massachusetts resident is counted in the census to avoid losing a representative in Congress.
One target of Winslow’s efforts is Barney Frank’s district; given current events this hardly seems neutral:
In a move that could impact Taunton, the Fourth Congressional District could potentially have its boundaries altered. The district, which is represented by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, is mostly centered in southeastern Massachusetts, but has an oddly-shaped offshoot stretching up to some of the Boston suburbs, such as Brookline and Frank’s hometown, Newton.
“I think the current district configuration doesn’t pass the laugh test when put up on the wall,” Winslow said. “It undercuts the representation of Bristol County.”
“It looks like it was the result of a compromise, and that’s what it was,” he added. “I helped draft it. It was a settlement between Gov. Weld, Senate President Bulger and Speaker Flaherty.”
I admit that the districts as drawn in our state, whether for the State Senate or Congress do add luster to the history of gerrymandering and that many deserve a second look in order to rationally serve constituents. None the less, it is NOT good for our state to lose a congressman, and Barney Frank is a credit to our delegation.
As Chairman Walsh puts it:
Walsh said the most important concern with the Fourth Congressional District is not it’s shape, but that the “overwhelming interest of the people is that they’re very happy Barney Frank is their congressman.”
for the entire Taunton Gazette article [or to comment on the article online] go to: http://www.tauntongazette.com/…