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Tuesday, December 02, 2003

They Put The Map Back

I have been following the Colorado Congressional Redistricting issue because of a few pesky issues. The GOP controlled state legislature took steps this spring to redraw the boundaries of Colorado's seven Congressional districts and paid particular attention to the large western slope district 3, held by retiring Congressman Scott McInnis as well as the newly created district 7, held by freshman Congressman Bob Beauprez. Beauprez won the district seat by only 121 votes against Democrat Mike Feeley. Under the new map, the legislature had gerry mandered Feeley out of the district. That is right. He hadn't moved from his home and was the former challenger but under the proposed plan, he wouldn't even live in the district. In the district 3 map, the legislature has revisited the pesky problem of balancing GOP strongholds, like Grand Junction with Democratic strong holds like Pueblo. As a result, Pueblo has been chopped up into three different districts in the proposed plan, making the largely Hispanic, largely blue collar and largely Democratic urban block of the third district no longer important. So it was great news when the Colorado Supreme Court tossed out the shenanigans of the legislature and reminded the governing body of the rules that the state uses to play the once-a-decade redistricting game. Keep your eyes on this issue as mirror issues are now playing out in Texas and Pennsylvania.