View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Friday, May 09, 2003
One of the keystone's of Karl Rove's strategy for a Republican majority is the redrawing of Congressional boundaries to favor incumbents. Now, it takes two to tango, and the Democrats have seized on this just as eagerly as the Republicans, to be sure, often cutting deals in states where they thought seats were at risk. However, here in Colorado, the new 7th District's lines were drawn by a judge, with an eye towards partisan "competitiveness," a heretofore unknown standard for electoral boundaries. Republican Bob Beauprez won the seat by 121 votes last year, and now the Republican in the State Capitol want to redraw the lines, adding Republican precincts to pad their lead. Redistricting has always been an inherently partisan process, and never even got legislative approval the last time, so it's hard to argue that the Republicans are morally wrong in the specific case. The downside is that virtually all 7 Congressional seats will be safe seats for one party or another.

Still, the overwrought reaction by Rep. Diana DeGette, in whose district I have the misfortune of living, calling it an attempt to "create one-party rule," is well over the top. In Denver, every elected official of any consequence is a Democrat: the mayor, the City Council, the Congressional representative, every State Senator, and every State Representative. I'd lay odds that even Republican dogs are more at risk than Democratic dogs. One State Senator won with 53%, one State Rep won with just over 50%. With those two exceptions, it's not even close. Mrs. DeGette's opposition Republican couldn't even break 30% last year. The other State legislators were elected with an average of 80% of the vote. If Mrs. DeGette is really worried about one-party rule, she needs to look to her home district first, before whining about how Democrats can't catch a break.

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