IBJNews

Indiana Democrats seek more time with GOP redistricting plan

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Outnumbered Democrats in the Indiana House argued Wednesday that the new election districts proposed by Republicans would lead to fewer competitive races and create more solidly GOP seats.

House Democrats said their review of the proposed districts found 14 districts closely divided politically for the 100 House seats — down from the current 24 — and that 10 of the 12 districts drawn without incumbents are heavily Republican.

Several people who testified during a House elections committee hearing Wednesday asked that the public have more time to study and comment on the new districts that were released Monday.

Indianapolis resident Robin Olds said the redistricting maps made public were too small for her to figure out which legislative district she would live in.

Mooresville town council President George Watkins said he was worried that few people knew about the proposals, such as having the suburban Indianapolis community being split between two House districts.

"That is a concern for the four or five or six citizens of Mooresville that are aware of it — and those are the ones I contacted myself last night," Watkins said.

Republicans who control the Legislature plan to advance the redistricting plan from the House and Senate elections committees this week and have new maps for the state's nine congressional, 50 state Senate and 100 state House districts before the April 29 adjournment deadline.

Rep. John Bartlett of Indianapolis, the top Democrat on the House election committee, said he was concerned about the lack of politically competitive legislative districts and what appeared to be "packing" of minorities into relatively few districts.

"We had people say they don't want legislators picking their voters, they want the voters to pick their legislators," Bartlett said. "That's a major concern for us."

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said he didn't know how the new districts might influence election results for the House, which has a 60-40 GOP majority under maps drawn by Democrats 10 years ago.

"It's not my focus to know what the political makeups of the districts are," Bosma said. "Our focus is to drawn commonsense districts."

Democrats say their analysis of the GOP-proposed districts for the state Senate show that at most 17 of the 50 districts having enough Democratic voting strength to match their party's statewide average in recent elections. Republicans now have a commanding 37-13 majority in the Senate, which they've controlled since the mid-1970s.

Members of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, which was formed by several advocacy groups, gave the proposed maps positive reviews for better compactness and keeping more counties and cities together than under current districts.

But they said the quickness that legislators are moving the plan would prevent them from being able to know how competitive those districts might be since little political information was available yet.

"The average person just isn't engaged enough to look at a map and say 'yeah, that's good for me' or not," said Julia Vaughn, policy director for the government watchdog group Common Cause/Indiana.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Let's just get thise done
    1. Traditionally, when redistricting is scheduled, the biggest fear is the other political party will win. Unless Hoosiers have a very short memory, the next election will see a lot of change
    2. A reduction in districts will save a few dollars is setting up voting sites.
    3. The public doesnâ??t need more time to comment on districting.
    4. If some of the representatives donâ??t like how new districts are drawn, they can always hide out in an Illinois hotel room in an attempt to delay the progress.
    5. There are minorities in one way or another all over the State.
    6. Rep. John Bartlett of Indianapolis, the top Democrat on the House election committee, was not concerned about anyone in any district just a few weeks ago.
    7. Members of the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, which was formed by several advocacy groups, gave the proposed maps positive reviews for better compactness and keeping more counties and cities together than under current districts.
    8. The citizens of Indiana are not as stupid as Ms. Vaughn apparently believes. "The average person just isn't engaged enough to look at a map and say 'yeah, that's good for me' or not," said Julia Vaughn, policy director for the government watchdog group Common Cause/Indiana. BALONEY.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. OK Larry, let's sign Lance, shore up the PG and let's get to the finals.

  2. A couple of issues need some clarification especially since my name was on the list. I am not sure how this information was obtained and from where. For me, the amount was incorrect to begin with and the money does not come to me personally. I am guessing that the names listed are the Principal Investigators (individual responsible for the conduct of the trail) for the different pharmaceutical trials and not the entity which receives the checks. In my case, I participate in Phase II and Phase III trials which are required for new drug development. Your article should differentiate the amount of money received for consulting, for speaking fees, and for conduct of a clinical trial for new drug development. The lumping of all of these categories may give the reader a false impression of physicians just trying to get rich. The Sunshine Law may help to differentiate these categories in the future. The public should be aware that the Clinical Trial Industry could be a real economic driver for Indiana since these revenues supports jobs and new job creation. Nationally, this account for 10-20 billion which our State is missing out on to a large degree. Yes, new drug and technology development has gotten most of the attention (e.g. CTSI, BioCrossroads, etc.) However, serious money is being left on the table by not participating in the clinical trials to get those new drugs and medical devices on the market!!!! I guess that this is not sexy enough for academia.

  3. The address given for the Goldfish Swim Club is the Ace Hardware, is it closing?

  4. Out of state management and ownership. If Kite controlled it, everything would be leased. Of course, due to the roundabout, there is limited access to the south side of 116th now also. Just have to go down to the light.

  5. Hey smudge, You're opposed to arresting people for minor crimes? Sounds great! We should only focus on murders and such, right? Let's stand around and wait until someone shoots someone before we act. Whatever we do, we should never question anyone, frisk anyone, or arrest anyone unless they are actively engaged in shooting or stabbing. Very sound!

ADVERTISEMENT