Bob Rucho and David Lewis, two kings of slime in the General Assembly, responded last week to a News and Observer editorial call for fair redistricting. True to form, they dragged out the old canard, wondering aloud where liberals were when Democrats were doing their own gerrymandering.
Where were your scathing editorials then?
Yesterday, Ned Barnett responded with some of those pesky facts Republicans like to ignore:
They (those scathing editorials) were on The News & Observer’s editorial page. For instance, on Nov. 11, 2001, an editorial said of the comically convoluted new maps: “The blatant attempt on the part of Democrats running the process to give themselves an advantage might well feed discouragement among voters about the way their interests are served. There are fair, simple principles that could guide the process – and perhaps simplify the contorted districts now anticipated.”
On April 6, 1994, the editorial page expressed sympathy with Democratic legislators’ efforts to draw oddly shaped congressional districts that resulted in the election of Mel Watt and Eva Clayton as the first black North Carolina representatives since 1901. Nonetheless, the editorial was critical of gerrymandering even for a noble cause. The editorial said: “Packing black voters into separate districts carries a high price in the long run.
The News and Observer has not been alone in its call for an end to gerrymandering. Much to the dismay of Democratic party loyalists, many BlueNC community members have championed fair redistricting for many years. The toxic effects of gerrymandering democracy are obvious to anyone who is willing to look: The GOP overwhelmingly controls the state legislature and holds 10 of 13 congressional seats in a state where they barely achieved a majority of voter support.