Late congressional redistricting bid is a naked power grab
The Republicans in the Colorado Legislature are maneuvering in the last hours of the session to slam through another redistricting of congressional districts, in what can be viewed as naked aggression to hold onto power.
The session ends Wednesday.
Currently, the GOP holds five of the seven U.S. House seats in the state. The exceptions are the 1st District in Denver and the 2nd District, which includes Summit County and parts of Boulder, Grand, Clear Creek, Gilpin and Eagle counties.
The move would ensure the hotly contested new 7th District seat on the west side of Denver is locked up for Republican Bob Beauprez. He won the 2002 election by little more than 100 votes over Democrat Mike Feeley.
Parties in power have the right gerrymander districts to assure as much as possible that their candidates stay in power. It’s a time-worn rite.
Redistricting, based on the 2000 U.S. Census, which gave Colorado a seventh House seat, took place last year. The issue was contested between the then-Democratic state Senate and the GOP-controlled House.
A judge ended up drawing the new congressional maps. That’s how Summit moved from Republican Rep. Scott McInnis’ 3rd District to Democratic Rep. Mark Udall’s 2nd District.
It appears the GOP is conceding the 1st and 2nd Districts to the Democrats while trying to make the 7th uncompetitive, even though Beauprez won a tough race and will run next time as the incumbent with a built-in advantage.
If re-redistricting is such a good idea, why didn’t it come up in January? The answer is that in the last hours of the Legislature, the GOP might ram it through with little debate.
What the heck. Who needs public debate when elections will be hopeless, one-sided affairs anyway? Politicians wonder why voter turnout continues to plunge and cynicism about government grows. There’s nothing to wonder about.
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