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September 22, 2003

Perry's Non-compromise "Compromise"

By Byron LaMasters

Can someone explain to me how this is a compromise? Or can someone explain to me how Rick Perry's brain works? First off, he has a meeting to discuss the west Texas district controversy. Yet, he only has a map with the seven west Texas districts (with nothing regarding the other 25 - how can you have a compromise on a map when you only draw 22% of it?). Second, the "compromise" was not a compromise. It still created a Midland based district, and presumably paired Randy Neugebauer and Charlie Stenholm, which Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) opposes. The Austin American Statesman reports:

Gov. Rick Perry weighed in on the congressional redistricting fight Monday, proposing a map that would solve a fight between Republicans in West Texas but leaving about two-thirds of the state in question.

The map, unveiled by Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, would create a district that could be won by someone from Midland. It also creates a separate district for Lubbock.

Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, has been fighting for a Midland-based district, but Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, opposes that idea.

King, the House's lead negotiator on congressional redistricting, said he and Craddick could accept the map if the Senate signs off on it.

It's not clear, however, that that will happen. No one from the Senate nor the governor's office attended a news conference where the plan was unveiled. The Senate is scheduled to debate its vastly different plan on Tuesday.

Left in question by the governor's proposal were districts representing a large portion of Central Texas, most of the Rio Grande Valley and all of East Texas. King said those areas remain open for negotiations and acknowledged that the proposed compromise in West Texas could have great effects on the rest of the state.

The Quorum Report basically says what I said. The Perry "compromise" is no compromise, and he's not getting any takers:

Averitt, Duncan, offer varying degrees of hostility
The deadline for amendments to the Committee Substitute for House Bill 3 - the congressional redistricting plan from Sen. Todd Staples (R-Palestine) - came and went at 5 p.m. today without any Republican senator building on the "compromise" offered for West Texas by Gov. Rick Perry.

There were no amendments featuring the changes proposed by Perry, and supported by Speaker Tom Craddick and House redistricting bill sponsor Phil King (R-Weatherford), to districts 11, 17, 19, 13, and 12.

However, there has been some comment. Sen. Kip Averitt (R-Waco) reacted angrily to Perry's suggestion that Bell and Coryell counties be separated from McLennan County.

"The map that was presented at today’s press conference decimates the voice of Central Texas and I am firmly opposed," Averitt said.

Charles has more on Off the Kuff.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at September 22, 2003 11:07 PM | TrackBack

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