Sorry I missed this event on Friday.
The University of Texas School of Law will host a symposium on Friday, March 2, about the 2003 Congressional redistricting in Texas, which is also the focus of a new book by adjunct law professor Steve Bickerstaff.
Published this month by The University of Texas Press, Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting in Texas and the Downfall of Tom DeLay is a comprehensive look at the efforts by Republican lawmakers in 2003--led by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay--to gerrymander Texas's 32 Congressional districts. The book also provides insights into the 2002 campaign activities that made the redistricting possible, and the civil and criminal court proceedings that followed.
The day-long symposium at the Law School's Eidman Courtroom--which is free and open to the public--features the book and the issues it raises, bringing together Bickerstaff with key players and observers in the Texas redistricting case, as well as a number of election law experts from across the nation.
What was a tad surprising was the lawyers' agreement that Texas should reform the current system by putting a "low cap" on campaign contributions. The cap should be accompanied by a removal of the state's ban on corporate cash, they added. "It's not intuitively clear to me why it's okay for certain homebuilders and other individuals who are immensely wealthy to give hundreds of thousands of dollars to single candidates, but a corporation can't give a thousand dollars," said J.D. Pauerstein, referring to Bob Perry, election ATM of the rightwing. Pauerstein, who says that he's tired of being hit up for contributions, hopes that the limits would be small across the board.