League of Women Voters urges mappers to complete job, avoid Idaho Supreme Court

The redistricting commission reconvenes Tuesday and has until Sept. 6 to redraw lines for Idaho's two congressional and 35 legislative districts.

“The Commission was designed to be bi-partisan, so that Commissioners would separate themselves from their parties’ desires, and do what is best for all Idahoans, not Republican Idahoans, or Democratic Idahoans," said league spokeswomen Kathryn Bonzo and Susan Steele in a statement provided the Statesman. "We urge you to come up with a plan that keeps communities of interest together and keeps counties whole as much as possible.”

The evenly divided panel of six commissioners was off last week.

Commissioners have been finger-pointing, accusing one another of partisan motives in guest opinions submitted to Idaho newspapers.

In 1994, 64 percent of voters passed a constitutional amendment creating the commission. The Legislature had decided that having lawmakers draw the lines was an unnecessary distraction and created the bipartisan panel. The Idaho GOP now says, however, that the power to draw lines should be returned to the Legislature.

If the commission fails to agree on a plan by Sept. 6, the matter would come before the five-member Idaho Supreme Court. Among the court's options could be to order the commission back to work, appoint a special master to draw maps subject to court approval, or draw their own maps.

The news release from the League of Women Voters
follows:

The League of Women Voters of Idaho has sent a message to the members of the Idaho Redistricting Commission, urging them to come to a compromise quickly to avoid having the redistricting plan go to the Supreme Court.

In their message, Spokespersons Kathryn Bonzo and Susan Steele reminded the Commissioners that the Idaho League was a strong proponent of Idaho’s adopting a procedure in which a Citizens Commission instead of the Legislature would accomplish the reapportionment. They said, “We would hope that your Commission could do the difficult job without the action of the court.”

They further said, “The Commission was designed to be bi-partisan, so that Commissioners would separate themselves from their parties’ desires, and do what is best for all Idahoans, not Republican Idahoans, or Democratic Idahoans… We urge you to come up with a plan that keeps communities of interest together and keeps counties whole as much as possible.”

The League also recognizes that there are legitimate disagreements about the primacy of the Constitution over state law, but urged the Commissioners to find a way to compromise so that the task can be completed without going to court.

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No matter how the map is drawn, it's almost sure to go to court-some people will be very upset over the final version, no matter how it looks. Anyone has the option to protest it in court, and someone will.

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Jail them all and let a computer do it.

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Economists were invented to make astrologers look professional.

Idaho Republican hypocracy on display

Imagine that. The Idaho Republican Party wants the power to draw district maps returned to the legislature. Once again the Idaho GOP shows themselves to be without a principled bone in their organizational body. How many people believe they would be advocating that position if the Democrats controlled the State legislature?

If you say "yes", then think back to the time they ran on advocating term limits and then promptly overturned the will of the citizens of Idaho and did away with them after they won elections running on that issue. Pure hypocracy.

The Idaho Republican party is a party of two values: power and money. And after two decades of complete control of state government, a third value can be added: corruption.

You and your children are getting ripped off while the Idaho GOP protects their wealthy and powerful supporters with over $1 billion in ANNUAL special tax breaks that are neither reviewed nor justified. This is money rightfully and legally due the state that is being denied our children's education and the general benefit of all Idahoans. And then they demonize and blame teachers for the state's economic woes. Disgraceful.

So while voters were being assailed with "Fire Pelosi" political ads last year, the real goal was to distract you from the GOP crooks and policial insiders working hard to make sure that your government "governs least" for you while it "governs most" for the benefit of the very wealthy and powerful. This is deception and class warfare at its worst.

And now they want to draw the maps to not only remove every last Democrat from the legislature, but to also stifle any voice of reason within the Idaho GOP that doesn't pledge their loyalty to the most extreme and ignorant elements within their party.

We need other voices in the state legislature - good Democrats and Independents - to keep the Republicans honest (a huge task). The GOP clearly can't be trusted to police themselves.

Maybe they should geocache for it.

POKEMON TOURNAMENT.

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Economists were invented to make astrologers look professional.