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Abbott proposes redistricting deal

We may yet have a deadline deal on interim maps, though it is as yet unclear which plaintiffs have agreed to this deal and which have not. For now, you can see what the fuss is about here:

Congress Map2008 Electoral data2010 Electoral data

State Senate MapElectoral data

State House MapElectoral data

I’m working on summaries and will update when I have more.

UPDATE: The San Antonio court tells the parties to keep negotiating until everyone is on board. So far, the only plaintiff to agree with the State is the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force, who are represented by MALDEF. MALC is not on board, and neither are State Sen. Wendy Davis or LULAC, the NAACP, and the Travis County plaintiffs. In addition, State Sen. Craig Estes now wants to intervene on the grounds that his district was affected by the changes made in the “deal” for Davis’ district. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: The Lone Star Project comes out swinging, and via BOR, the NAACP voices its opposition. BOR in turn criticizes MALDEF for its support of the “deal”, which reminds me that there was a point in MALDEF’s statement that I wanted to nitpick:

MALDEF and the Task Force believe the congressional plan reflects the tremendous demographic growth in Texas: Latinos represented 65 percent of all new growth in the state since 2000. There are nine Latino opportunity districts statewide: CD 15, 16, 20, 23, 28, 29, 33, 34 and 35. No incumbents have been drawn out of their existing districts; and there has been no retrogression of existing African American opportunity districts. The new plan is consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court remand to utilize the state enacted map, with the exception of where legal defects exist under the Voting Rights Act or the Constitution.

Emphasis mine. This is at least somewhat disingenuous. As things stand, Lloyd Doggett is either in a red-tinted CD25, or a Latino-leaning CD35, possibly back up against Joaquin Castro. (Castro could still presumably run for CD20 now that Charlie Gonzalez is stepping down, but then someone else – Mike Villarreal, perhaps – might choose to run in CD35). Either way, Doggett is at best fighting for his life, whereas in the original interim map he truly was left alone. Doggett’s district, along with Sen. Wendy Davis’ SD10 and the Asian-heavy HD26 are coalition districts that the other plaintiffs are fighting for.

UPDATE: I should add the initial reactions from Greg, Burka, Stace, and Robert Miller.

UPDATE: PDiddie wins the headline award.

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4 Comments

  1. blank says:

    There is no agreement, so it’s probably a moot point. But, I suspect that both the Congressional map and the State Senate map probably would have been pre-cleared had Abbott presented them to the DOJ to begin with. The DOJ had no complaint about the Legislature’s State Senate map, and this map is far more friendly to Fort Worth minorities. So, it’s pretty obvious that the DOJ would have been fine with this State Senate map too.

    This Congressional map has 9 Hispanic districts and 3 African American districts out of 36 districts, or 25% and 8%, respectively. The current bench map has 7 Hispanic districts and 3 African American districts out of 32 districts, or 22% and 9%, respectively. So, overall the number of minority opportunity districts increased from 31% to 33%. The claim that this CD-23 does not provide Hispanics as great an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice is true. However, it’s only on the margins. After all this CD-23, like the benchmark CD-23, voted for pretty much every Democrat in 2008 and every Republican in 2010. Although I don’t have all of the election data, I can’t find a race in which a candidate won the benchmark CD-23 but lost this CD-23. The claim that CD-25 is a protected coalition may be true. But, given that the DOJ has never tried to protect it or SD-10, I suspect it would not have pursued this claim either. Furthermore, the State could always claim that CD-33 and CD-35 are replacement districts.

    Of course this is all about Section 5. I still believe that there are very valid Section 2 claims in these maps.

  2. Mainstream says:

    Republicans would be well advised to seek credible, community-based candidates to run in the open seat 137, and even against Alvarado and Farrar. In 2010, for example, Greg Abbott nearly tied his Democrat opponent in House District 148. Also in 2010, if I am reading data correctly, Dewhurst trounced his D opponent in HD 137 by 52-44, and Abbott won 54-44. So HD 137 may swing like the old HD 133 did, depending on whether the election is in a presidential or off-year election.

    The most remarkable changes to me are the congressional districts for Ted Poe and John Culberson. While each remains 60% GOP, the mix of voters changes quite a bit. Poe’s new district takes in the Heights, Montrose, and Rice Village areas, as well as Spring Branch, 1960, and Kingwood. I am not sure how well he will be received by inside the loop Republican voters. Culberson’s district also picks up a lot of new voters, and again I am not sure whether he continues to be a good fit for that district. My hunch is that both are completely safe, though, for the primary coming up so quickly, given advantages of name ID and funding.

    I expect some blowback within GOP activist circles against Atty Gen Abbott. He appears to have caved with respect to Hubert Vo’s district, and I don’t see the legal case for continuing that district. He also appears to have capitulated to demands to increase Hispanic numbers in Legler’s district, again without legal justification. More significantly, the agreement to create the new plurality Hispanic district in the Dallas area will be viewed as a giveaway. The buzz is that the GOP wanted to hold its early primary in an effort to help Gingrich block Romney’s advance, and was willing to sacrifice lots of districts to do so. If that spin takes hold, I could see longer term political ripple effects from this settlement.

  3. […] I start to type this I have no idea if the “deal” that was announced earlier today will be in effect or on the trash heap. I think it’s instructive to look at the […]

  4. Greg Wythe says:

    Mainstream,

    But HD137 is a coalition district … where’s the outrage?

    ;-)

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