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. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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