Objections to “Mary-mandering” redistricting bill gain coverage in non-partisan press
One of the most important issues in Colorado Politics – the looming reapportionment (state-level) and redistricting (Congressional) of Colorado’s legislative districts, which will occur next year following this year’s census – has received scant attention from Colorado’s newspaper of record, the Denver Post. Although disappointing, this cannot come as a surprise to the astute political observer, particularly given the dominant role of the Colorado Supreme Court in both state-level reapportionment and Congressional redistricting – apparently the Denver Post doesn’t want to do anything to upset its most recent tenant (and major billpayer) – that same Colorado Supreme Court. ( “Move along, move along – no conflict of interest to see here.“)
Fortunately, Colorado citizens now have a veritable plethora of alternative sources for news (real news – including direct and unfiltered coverage of major political events, such as the recent Tax Day Tea Party events all but ignored by the Post and other mass media, by such organizations as Peoples Press Collective or Complete Colorado). For those of you more comfortable with print media, some of the most comprehensive coverage of political news and events is consistently offered by the Colorado Statesman – including an article in their latest edition, “Redistricting rears its ugly head.”
Although the article perpetuates some of the confusion regarding the sequence of events involved in the last round of redistricting battles (the so-called “midnight gerrymandering” decried – with some justification, at least as far as some procedural criticism – by Democrat legislators, although neglecting to mention that the corrective attempt to legislate district boundaries was brought about by obstructing the constitutionally mandated process the previous session, occurred before passage of the statute the current bill seeks to repeal) the article does provide an accurate summary of legislator statements and witness testimony (again, contrasted with the Denver Post coverage) on the bill. The article’s summary of Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold’s testimony was accurate and refreshingly devoid of “spin”:
Matt Arnold testified against the bill on behalf of Clear the Bench Colorado, a group he said is dedicated to restoring accountability to the courts, especially the Colorado Supreme Court. Arnold said the Colorado Supreme Court has been unaccountable, partisan and activist and has played “far too strong a role” in both reapportionment and redistricting. The General Assembly has the responsibility for redrawing congressional districts, he said but that the Legislature needs to provide guidelines to the judiciary branch when redistricting ends up in the courts. Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey has exerted a partisan influence on the redistricting and reapportionment processes, Arnold charged, and said an effort was made to tie up the process of drawing the maps in the Legislature (in 2002) so the issue could be referred to the courts. Arnold referred to it as “mary-mandering,” which he defined as the use of the courts to achieve results that could not be otherwise achieved through the constitutionally-delineated process accorded the General Assembly.
Don’t let the courts “Mary-mander” away your rights to fair representation – exercise your right to vote “NO” this November on the 4 ‘unjust justices’ of the Colorado Supreme Court’s “Mullarkey Majority” (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your home or business against eminent domain abuse, your right to fair representation in government, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of suffering under rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.” Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your voice (comment below or Sound Off!) and your contributions – and vote “NO” on retaining these unjust justices on the bench for another 10-year term!