Sunday, September 25, 2011

Redistricting: Martinez Abandons Campaign Position

During the primary campaign last year, I posed some questions to each of the candidates for governor. There were three questions. One of my newspaper columns was allocated to the answers to a question. Some candidates answered. Others didn't, blowing off the exercise. One of the questions was about redistricting. That was because I knew that redistricting was a partisan mess and because I have become enamored of the idea of independent redistricting commissions. Iowa sets the standard. Arizona and Washington are good.

This was, I admit, also a set up. The answer allowed me to hold the winner accountable. So it is with Susana Martinez. The redistricting special session of the legislature adjourned with no decisions (well, few). The whole thing is going to the courts. That's a cop out, not at all the work for which the governor and legislators get paid. And certainly not bold, to come back again to Martinez campaign slogan. The question and Martinez' answer follows from my mid-May 2010 column.


Will you introduce legislation in the 2011 regular session of the Legislature creating an independent commission to handle redistricting of congressional, legislative and other districts? Why or why not?

Martinez Answer: I support legislation sponsored by Keith Gardner which amends the New Mexico Constitution and establishes a bipartisan redistricting commission that draws lines for Congressional and state legislative districts consistent with federal and statutory requirements and based on the most recent federal, decennial Census. I support this legislation because too often politics drives this process and detracts from critical discussions like reducing our state’s historic budget deficit and turning our economy around while rooting out corruption.

Keith Gardner is Martinez' chief of staff. "Too often politics drives this process..." Still does, it seems.

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