IBJOpinion

Legislator promotes fair redistricting

October 10, 2009
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

Sometimes I agree with Morton Marcus’ opinions and sometimes I don’t, but I was incredulous when I read his “Let’s help keep legislators in check” in the [Sept. 28] IBJ.

Marcus makes it sound as if there is little or no support in the Indiana General Assembly for a bipartisan approach to legislative redistricting. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I felt compelled to remind Marcus of recent history on this important topic. Many of us have been advocating bipartisan redistricting reform for years.

Back in the 2006 legislative session, I authored House Bill 2009, which would have created a bipartisan commission to draw new districts in 2011 and beyond. The commission would have been chaired by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and would have been charged with drawing new districts based upon criteria that would have protected the interests of voters rather than protecting the interests of politicians.

HB 2009 was a part of the House Republican agenda for 2006 (then-Speaker Brian Bosma was a co-author of the bill), and it passed out of the House on a bipartisan vote—every Republican and a number of Democrats voting in favor. Unfortunately, the bill was not considered in the Senate. I have introduced the same bill in every session since, but under Speaker Pat Bauer the bill has always been assigned to the House Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure, where it fails to be considered.

While I agree with Marcus’ basic premise that legislative redistricting should be less partisan, he chose to villainize legislators unfairly. Many of us support a more bipartisan approach to redistricting. I for one will continue to champion this issue through the redistricting process in the 2011 session of the General Assembly.

__________

Jerry Torr

State representative
District 39 (Carmel)



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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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