September 15, 2003
Perry's Mulligan
Although I expect Texans will be disappointed with the inability to accomplish this task, I believe Texans would be even more disappointed if we expend considerable sums of taxpayer money to call a special session that has no promise of yielding a redistricting plan for Congress.
That's what Governor Rick Perry said to Bill Ratliff and Pete Laney, then the Lt. Governor and House Speaker, on July 3, 2001. In doing so, Perry, who now insists that the only proper way to do redistricting is via the Legislature, chose to let the courts draw the lines instead.

Two years and two wasted special sessions later, Perry will finally get the mulligan he has craved since April. Special Session #3 begins at noon, and barring intervention from aliens or another flipflop from John Whitmire, it will have a quorum and not have a blocker bill in the Senate, meaning that like a playoff contender in the stretch run, the outcome is in the Republicans' own hands.

So what now for the Democrats? Greg Wythe makes a strong case for giving the Republicans exactly what they want, on the grounds that it will make the ensuing court challenge that much tighter. It's pretty persuasive.

What about the sanctions? The GOP continues to play good cop/bad cop, with Sen. Todd Staples playing the good cop this time around. I'll say again, the smartest thing the Republicans can do is to find a way to drop this issue (they can call Beldar if they want some suggestions as to how).

Have I mentioned, by the way, that the Republicans still apparently don't have an agreement on a map? The Quorum Report a couple of days ago alluded to a couple of maps that could get the 16 votes needed to pass the Senate, but there's been no update on that since then, and every article I've read still refers to the Craddick/Duncan feud. Time to put up or shut up, fellas.

Four hours till the curtain goes up on the Lege for (one can only hope) the last time this year. Let's get ready to rumble.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 15, 2003 to Killer D's | TrackBack

In light of the opening statement of this post, I'm surprised that the governor would flipflop on this issue. Based on what I understand as an outsider, the Republican's plan has almost no chance of standing up in federal court, so why are they bothering? When you have to resort to street by street zoning, that's a problem.

Posted by: William Hughes on September 15, 2003 9:05 AM

They're doing it because Tom Delay has pictures of Rick Santorum hosting Rick Perry in the pleasure-kennels of "Puppies' Town" just across the border from Del Rio.

Posted by: precinct1233 on September 15, 2003 12:08 PM

The Democrats gerrymanded the heck out of Texas districts for decades. What is more fair that the Texas congressional districts reflect more accurately the political landscape? Everyone knows that in a fair re-districting the Democrats are not going to have 17 seats. I don't hear any complaints about California where Democrats have gerrymanded
the districts to reflect their advantage.

Posted by: Bill Macknight on September 15, 2003 12:17 PM