Democrats in GOP-dominated Texas House stage mass absence to break quorum It comes as a stinging response to Republican tactics to redraw districts that are favorable to Republicans.
The request to redistrict was initiated by Tom DeLay (none of the districts are DeLay’s own gerrymandered district) and was kept in secret from the voters of Texas until late April when the story broke.
The hearings for the redistricting were held on May 3rd, when a number of counties and cities in Texas held elections – meaning that a number of representatives could not be present at the hearings.
Every major newspaper in Texas who has covered the redistricting plan has come out against it. The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram said that DeLay’s plan is “raw, shameless politics and shows little regard for the residents who’ll be affected or the taxpayers who’ll foot the bill for the inevitable legal challenges. . . . It also blatantly invites rejection by the U.S. Justice Department under the Voting Rights Act by diluting minority voting strength. . . . If the state hasn’t enough money to pay for basic services for thousands of children, elderly and disabled residents, it certainly can’t afford another round of needless legal bills.”
DeLay claims that the redistricting will help minorities but most of Texas’ minority rights organizations are against the plan. DeLay’s response to the minority senators and representatives who are against the plan by claiming that “they are more Democrat than they are minority.” (Dallas Morning News, 4/25/03).
If you’d like to help stop this Republican fueled grab for power, please call:
Speaker of the Texas State Legislature, Tom Craddick
Texas Legislature Redistricting Chair, Joe Crabb