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From the diaries by Erick
Texas Redistricting is underway, and a shocking blunder is about to happen in Texas. The Republican majority is about to pass, at the behest of the supposedly Republican Speaker, a redistricting plan that punishes conservative Republicans so badly, it might as well have been a Democratic gerrymander. Coming off the heels of an amazing Republican victory last November, the plan forces Republican incumbents in 8 districts to be paired off, and curiously, many of them are conservatives and freshmen Reps who opposed Speaker Straus.
Last November, State Rep Bryan Hughes accused Speaker Straus’ team of threatening redistricting actions to get support. Well, that exact operation appears to be going down – and in his zeal for punishing conservative, Straus is making it harder to keep some Republican seats. Despite 101 Republicans, the ‘committee’ plan draws only 93 Republican seats. In other words, a map is drawn to deliberately give 8 Republicans the short end of the stick. And worse, many of this is not necessary at all. A glaring example is the pairing of Rep Jim Landroop with Rep Charles Perry, while a nearby district is drawn with no incumbent.
The map hits home here in Travis county in central Texas: Even though they could easily draw two Republican seats, the committee deliberately put most Travis Republicans into a single sprawling district (HD47), while making another seat that a Democrat won by a literal handful of votes in 2010 (HD48) more Democrat! In other words, the committee map deliberately is protecting Democrats better than it protects Republicans. It’s so bad for Republicans, it’s as if a Democrat drew the map.
This YouTube emergency action alert by conservative Republican State Rep Wayne Christian raised the alarm, and his description of what was done to him, will open some eyes. His district has been literally taken apart.
But there is good news in this video: There is an alternative map being drawn up by former State Rep Joe Nixon. The alternative plan draws 97 instead of 93 Republican seats and works hard at fixing manifest problems with the committee map.
Like too many of these ‘insider’ betrayals, this redistricting betrayal is happening too quickly for many to notice or take effective action to oppose. The map was only made public one week ago, the public was given ‘input’ only for 2 days after that, and the House vote on it is next Tuesday, right after Easter. We only have a few days to make a difference. But we will need to in order to save conservatives in the State house. The ACTION NEEDED for Texas conservatives is simply this: Get your State Rep alerted that you want them to support the “Nixon map” alternative. It stops the punishment of conservative State Reps who opposed Straus.