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No hope for redistricting

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — So the cost of redistricting the U.S. House, state legislature and the state Public Regulation Commission this year was over $8 million. Some of us had predicted $10 million so we got off easy considering what a litigious, polarized, uncooperative, out-to-get-each-other society we have these days.
The call has gone out for an independent redistricting commission appointed by the public. Forgeddaboutit. That would take politicians of good will. It ain’t gonna happen.
Yes, some states have independent redistricting commissions. Those are states with initiative and referendum provisions written into their constitutions.
The story is that Congress wouldn’t allow initiative or referendum in New Mexico’s constitution because it didn’t want laws “made in the street.” They trusted only the governor and Legislature. Too bad they can’t see how that’s been working out.
Congress did trust Arizonians to make laws in the street.  But they trusted Arizonians. They were whiter, more southern, less Catholic and spoke mainly English. So Arizonians passed an independent redistricting commission back in their good government days a decade or so ago.


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