In a ploy audacious even by the standards of Texas politics, one of the GOP’s new congressional districts would be composed of two Republican-leaning areas, one north of Austin and one in the Rio Grande Valley ? 300 miles away. The two areas would be connected by a mile-wide ribbon of land and have been dubbed a “community of interest.”
Yep, the map to the right shows the beautiful new proposed 15th congressional district, a 300-mile wonder that starts up in Austin, meanders east of San Antonio, heads down toward Mexico, and then squeezes itself into a mile-wide strip before opening up a bit to pick up a few critical border towns.
There’s nothing much the Dems can do to stop this redistricting fiasco, so in true Texas style they’ve brought business to a halt by simply fleeing the state: no quorum, no vote, and as long as they aren’t in Texas they’re out of reach of the Texas Rangers, who have been dispatched to arrest them and bring them back.
Governor Rick Perry, never one to leave bad enough alone, has even been dimwitted enough to ask other states if the Rangers can cross their borders to arrest the truant legislators. Sure, Rick. New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid had the best response: “I have put out an all-points bulletin for law enforcement to be on the lookout for politicians in favor of health care for the needy and against tax cuts for the wealthy.”
Yeah, she’s a Democrat.
UPDATE: Internet Ronin begs to point out that my very own California Democrats have also been known to be a wee bit partisan in their redistricting efforts. Too true, too true….