You long time TransGriot readers and those who know me have heard me bitterly complain about the 2003 Delaymandering of Texas.
The Texas Legislature at the behest of then Rep. Tom Delay and his GOP buddies stalled the 2000 redistricting process that would have kept the 15-15 congressional district split and then violated Texas state law by pumping $2 million of corporate money into the 2002 state legislative races.
They ended up with a Republican majority in both houses of the Texas Legislature, then proceeded to push a federal redistricting plan that disenfranchised Lone Star State non-white voters and the people of Austin for GOP benefit that was approved with a wink and nod by the GW Bush run Department of Justice.
It also led to a state legislature map that was designed in the Texas House to produce a 120-30 GOP supermajority and a 21-10 supermajority in the Texas Senate the Repugnicans are still one seat short of achieving.
For those of you who don’t live here mumbling ‘so what’ to yourself, the Delaymandering affected you as well. During the 2006 and 2008 Democratic landslides, those Delaymandered maps kept six congressional seats in Republican hands and the Texas House from flipping to Democratic control. You don’t think six more Democratic Texas congressmembers in the House wouldn’t have been a huge help to then Speaker Pelosi in passing progressive legislation?
With Texas picking up another four congressional seat due to the 2010 census and the GOP worried that the Democrats are only 25 seats away from making Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House again, they wanted to make sure the four new seats became Republican despite the population gain in the state being in Houston, Dallas and
the Sam Antonio Rio Grande Valley due to Latino and African-American
They also wanted to continue their screwing of US Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) the city of Austin and Texas non-white people and buttressed the reelection chances of current GOP congressmembers at the same time.
Despite Austin having a population of over 790,000 people it is split between five congressional districts with rural Republicans who don’t live in the city controlling four of them.
Rep. Doggett is one of two remaining white progressive Democratic congressmembers left in the Texas congressional delegationalong with Rep .Gene Green here in Houston . After the Delaymandering he was set up in an attempt to defeat him in a 25th Congressional district that originally ran from south Austin through San Antonio and the predominately Latino Rio Grande Valley to the Mexican border that was derisively called the ‘Fajita Strip’. It was thrown out in court by the feds in 2006 and Rep. Doggett was able to run in the last two cycles from a district concentrated in south Austin and Central Texas..
There was a flag thrown in this latest redistricting political power play thanks to the GOP dominated Texas Legislature overreaching in doing so and the Voting Rights Act.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), knowing that those new congressional maps and the ones they drew for the Texas Legislature didn’t stand a chance of getting precleared in an Obama Administration DOJ, tried to end run the process and got slapped down by a three judge panel in DC with two GW bush appointees and an Obama appointed federal judge..
That sent them back to a San Antonio based three judge panel who redrew the federal and state legislative maps with the usual conservafool ‘activist judges’ rhetoric as a result of it.
At the state level the judicial panel redrew mapsin the Texas House that would result in a pickup of at least sic Democratic seats in the 150 member Texas House and restored state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) diverse Fort Worth area Texas Senate district that the GOP drew to eliminate non-white areas and make it more heavily Republican.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, along with state Rep Donna Howard (D-Austin) are the lone white Democratic women left in the Texas Legislature after the disastrous 2010 midterm election in which the Repugs picked up 24 seats in the Texas House at the expense of many white progressive and moderate Democrats of both genders. The one who survived switched parties after the election and joined the GOP.
The conservafools can hate all they want on these new maps. They got caught tying to trample on the voting rights of non-white and progressive Texans and got called on it.
They of course are going to try to get this ruling thrown out in the conservafool dominated SCOTUS and we’ll see how that plays out. This is also a prime example of why the Voting Rights Act was enacted in the first place, and why elections matter.
And here’s hoping that we in the Lone Star State get to conduct the 2012 elections under the new fairer maps..