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Thu Jun 13, 2013, 11:57 AM

House Committee Hearings on Redistricting in Houston

I attended the Senate Committee hearings on redistricting on Saturday and made it to the House hearings yesterday. I was looking for a seat when a man called me by my screen name on DU. It was PDiddie who I met at a DU meet up many years ago.

The most interesting thing at this hearing was the fact that Jeff Archer of the Texas Legislative Council provided some advice in public to the Committee. Archer's advice or opinions were actually very helpful to the upcoming litigation in that Archer did not believe that the interim maps being considered were intended to be final maps and that the approval of such maps would not help the Texas GOP in the next round of redistricting litigation. http://brainsandeggs.blogspot.com/2013/06/todays-redistricting-hearing.html

I agree with PDiddie that it was fun watching Trey Martinez Fischer grill Archer in that Archer was not allowed to testify in the redistricting litigation.

Which was a grilling of the state's legal advisor, Jeff Archer of the Texas Legislative Council, by Rep. Trey Martinez Fisher. It was just a prelude to what is happening now (which you can follow over at G's O).

Martinez Fisher asked how many of the briefs and emails Archer had read, how much of the hearings he had witnessed, and other questions that essentially established Archer was fairly well out of the loop throughout this session on the topic of redistricting. Archer often looked helplessly at the chair, Drew Darby, to be bailed out, and Darby occasionally obliged him by nodding -- or shaking -- his head. After about 30 minutes of skewering, committee member Rep. Linda Harper Brown tried to short-circuit the cross-examination of Archer by Martinez Fischer (and succeeded).

Dutiful long-time followers of l'affaire redistricting may recall that Archer's deposition two years ago was barred by the state. (You can watch more of Archer speaking at an LBJ School of Public Affairs symposium. He's in the opening ten minutes.)


I talked to Archer during the break and he basically told me that he agreed with my analysis of the interim maps and the legal effect of the Texas legislature adopting these maps. The Senate Committee approved the interim maps yesterday without change and I have no doubt that the House Committee will also rubber stamp these maps. However, these hearings will be helpful in the litigation that is going to occur with regards to these maps.

It was fun seeing another DUer at this event.

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Reply House Committee Hearings on Redistricting in Houston (Original post)
Gothmog Jun 2013 OP
Gothmog Jun 2013 #1
PDittie Jun 2013 #2

Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 04:38 PM

1. HD 26 In Fort Bend County is the poster child for GOP gerrymandering

This is funny. It was pointed out that HD 26 is the poster child for GOP gerrymandering in both the State Senate and State House hearings on the interim maps. Rick Miller is the republican who was the beneficiary of such gerrymandering. Miller got Mike Gibson (the Fort Bend GOP chair) and three other republicans to come defend HD 26 yesterday. Mike Gibson lied to the House committee and told the House Committee that HD 26 was a minority majority district. Michael Li in his blog has the facts here and is in effect now citing HD 26 as the poster child for GOP gerrymandering http://txredistricting.org/post/52892791604/communities-of-interest-part-2

Take for example, HD 26 in Fort Bend County. In the San Antonio courtís original interim map, HD 26 was a compact district taking in most of the city of Sugar Land...

That resulted in a district with a citizen voting age population (CVAP) that was 16.6% Hispanic, 17.6% African-American, 26.1% Asian, and 38.8% Anglo. ....

But as drawn by the Texas Legislature - and incorporated wholesale into the second interim map - the district became an oddly shaped district that splits non-Anglo communities and weaves through Fort Bend County to pick up Anglo neighborhoods....
The resulting district is one with a CVAP that is: 14.3% Hispanic, 11.1% African-American, 21.1% Asian, and 52.3% Anglo.


The GOP has to lie about their gerrymandering efforts. I am glad that others are now looking at HD 26 and are realizing that this district is the poster child for GOP gerrymandering.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:08 PM

2. Thanks G

Great to see you, and keep up the fight.

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