If it's Sunday, that means it's time for analysis and overview. We'll start with the Chron and this piece which looks at Lt. Gov. Dewhurst's role in the redistricting flap. Elsewhere, in the editorial section, Clay Robison rips into Gov. Rick Perry and State GOP Chair Susan Weddington for their "newly contrived bleeding-heart, crocodile-tear act".
The Statesman reminds us that the national implications of this battle will be felt at least until the next regularly-scheduled round of redistricting in 2011, which is one reason why both sides are dug in so deeply. Meanwhile, speaking of the national picture, the Star-Telegram profiles New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is surely hoping to raise his profile.
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, frustrated by the inaction over congressional redistricting in the current special state legislative session, called for another session this week to enact further reforms.
The powerful Republican from Sugar Land says emergency action is needed to correct a long-standing inequity: Not a single Republican has been able to gain the post of county Democratic chair anywhere in Texas.
"Republicans now control every statewide office; we've got the majority in the [Texas] legislature. But -- because of the Democrats' legacy of Byzantine political ploys -- Republicans have been denied their constitutional right to become a county Democratic chair," DeLay said. "The electorate should be outraged."
Staffers said there may be problems in redrawing current county lines to ensure GOP dominance in what has traditionally been Democrat-only balloting. DeLay's counsel and receptionist were added to the state payroll by Attorney General Greg Abbott to begin preparing new maps.
Governor Rick Perry repeated his position that he is not DeLay's puppet but withheld further comment until the congressman returns from a Middle East trip with new instructions for him. A Perry aide said the costs of one more special session for this issue can be covered by cutting health care from another 5,000 Texas children.
DeLay's spokesman said the new initiative already has been enthusiastically endorsed by many prominent civic and business groups, including the Hotel-Motel Associations of Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico.