Redistricting bill failure no shock
Well, of course it failed:
State Rep. Shannon Chandley, a Democrat, told Amherst selectmen recently that one of the bills she sponsored – a bill that would have established an independent redistricting committee to take redistricting out of the hands of a majority party – was defeated.
Oh, we’re shocked, shocked to learn that New Hampshire’s political leaders want to ensure the safety of their seats.
But as Chandley told the selectmen, “Even with the best of intentions, people are going to protect their districts.”
She’s too kind: Best of intentions? Bushwah. The only intention of majority party redistricting – and it does not matter the party – is to protect the interests of the party and its members. There is not a single Democrat or Republican who would publicly advocate any form of sensible redistricting unless by “sensible” one means protecting his or her own interests.
This isn’t only in New Hampshire, of course. It’s in every state and not only to protect state representatives, but to protect members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Look at a redistricting map of almost any state and you’ll see district lines drawn in such a convoluted manner as to boggle the mind.
This one might be even more mind-boggling: Another of Chandley’s bills, to fund the state Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, also was defeated. Why? Are we so concerned about the opiod crisis that we forget about other crises? Internet crimes against children are still a terrible problem.
Of course we have to tackle the opiod crisis but we can’t forget other problems. How about drunken driving? A recent article in the Boston Globe pointed out an issue in Massachusetts: How people convicted of drunken driving never seem to get the maximum penalty, yet drunken driving kills far more people than opiods.
We know that the attention span of most people, including politicians (perhaps especially politicians) is finite but we can’t just abandon children to Internet predators or leave it only to local police departments.
A task force was a good idea. So is an independent redistricting committee. Too often, it’s the good ideas that die first.