Sunday, December 04, 2005

Who is Gerry Mandering?

Who is Gerry Mandering? The latest Bush political appointee?

Might as well be.

Actually, Gerry Mandering isn't so much a "who" as a "what". The word "gerrymandering" is a term that describes "the deliberate rearrangement of the boundaries of congressional districts to influence the outcome of elections." The first gerrymander was created way back in 1812 by Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry.

So, why is gerrymandering of consequence today, one may ask? Because the Republican-dominated Texas legislature and the Republican-dominated U.S. Justice Department may have conspired to violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act by gerrymandering Texas' congressional boundaries to favor Republican candidates in advance of the 2004 elections.

Isn't it interesting how the U.S. Justice Department approved the congressional redistricting plan in Texas in 2004 IN SPITE of the fact that the staff lawyers - all career Justice Department employees - who vetted the plan all agreed that it violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act? The subsequent implementation of the redistricting plan resulted in six additional Republican members of the House after the 2004 elections.

Because of historic discrimination against minority voters, Texas is required under provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to get Justice Department approval for any voting changes to ensure they don't undercut minority voting.

Now, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez is contending that the ultimate decision made by the Justice Department's heirarchy was NOT politically motivated. Yeah, and Tom Delay is the reincarnation of Mother Teresa. Not!

Can the current administration and its Republican supporters in Congress be considered anything less than the most currupt in recent memory, perhaps in U.S. history? I think former White House counsel John Dean had it absolutely right when he coined this group, "Worse than Watergate." And that may be a serious understatement.

No tricks seem too tame for this bunch of political hooligans. It makes one wonder what other dirt is hiding under the rug.


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