It appears I have kept my decades-long streak of displeasing the ladies alive.
Today, the League of Women Voters issued a release critical of my column of last week, where I argue that trying to make legislative districts \”electorally competitive\” actually gives Assembly Democrats an eight-seat head start come election time. Otherwise, African-American votes are diluted and civil rights litigation hilarity ensues. In effect, this gives Democrats an eight seat \”handicap,\” a golf metaphor that appears to be lost on Andrea Kaminski, the author of the LWV release.
In their release, the LWV argues… well… actually, I\’m not exactly sure what they\’re arguing. Their main talking point seems to be that I don\’t have anything to write about. They\’re probably right in that respect. Maybe we can set up a public debate where we argue the merits of my workload. Other than that, they don\’t seem to make any point that refutes anything I said in the column. For the sake of clarity, let me boil it down:
- When you make electoral competitiveness a standard for legislative redistricting, it is impossible to make inner-city districts competitive. Doing so would require diluting the African-American vote, a strategy of segregationists.
- As a result, there are at least eight Assembly districts (and at least two Senate districts) that will be exempt from the competitiveness standard. This gives Democrats an eight-seat head start in legislative elections.
Ms. Kaminski reiterates her support for having an \”independent\” board drawing district lines, since the Legislature can\’t be trusted to do so. In fact, the courts actually set the boundaries every decade. The Legislature generally writes their plan, then it goes to court, where judges eventually draw the lines. It has been this way in every redistricting since at least 1974.
In any event, I am honored to now be Public Enemy #1 over at the League of Women Voters. They are welcome to get in line – it forms on the left.