Underscoring why good-government groups have long called for using an appointed, non-political committee to undertake the state's redistricting, the Legislature remains knotted in turf battles and House-versus-Senate bickering.
Underscoring why good-government groups have long called for using an appointed, non-political committee to undertake the state's once-a-decade redistricting, the Legislature, with just three days (including Monday) remaining to complete its chore this special session, remains knotted in turf battles and House-versus-Senate bickering. It now appears likely that the daunting task of redrawing six congressional districts out of the current seven will be put off until 2012, and neither chamber of the Legislature as of this writing has approved its counterpart's legislative redistricting plan.
In a sign of how much sway Gov. Bobby Jindal has over state politics, we learned over the weekend that five of the current members of Louisiana's congressional delegation sent a letter to Jindal expressing their desire that lawmakers put off congressional redistricting until next year. (By law, Jindal has no legal control over redistricting; that role belongs respectively to the Senate president and House speaker.)
All the signees of the letter are Republicans including freshman Rep. Jeff Landry, who until very recently appeared to be headed toward having his base in southeastern Louisiana eviscerated and being forced to face veteran GOP Rep. Charles Boustany of Lafayette in a new district that largely resembles Boustany's current 7th District. Boustany was the lone Republican rep not to sign the letter and, according to The Times-Picayune, is still urging the Legislature to complete its work by Wednesday. The other member of Congress not to sign onto the letter is Democrat Cedric Richmond, who will remain in a majority-black district regardless of how the other five districts are redrawn.
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