July 27, 2017/Press

Translating GOP Statements on Redistricting: More Undemocratic Maps and Delay, Delay, Delay

Raleigh – After yesterday’s special redistricting committee, Rep. Lewis offered a number of misleading statements to hide that the unconstitutionally-elected Republican caucus’ goal for redistricting is more undemocratic maps, delayed as long as possible, and drafted with no input from Democrats. Here’s what Rep. Lewis said – and what he actually meant:

CLAIM #1: “[Hofeller] is the guy I have the most confidence in”

TRANSLATION: Tom Hofeller, a dark arts gerrymandering expert who authored the legislative and congressional maps found unconstitutional by unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision, gives Republicans their best shot at rigging the system again. Hofeller was the “chief architect” of the current, unconstitutional maps, and is now looking to further rig the system to protect Republicans.

CLAIM #2: “We’re not going to get a map that everyone is going to be happy with.”

TRANSLATION: Raleigh Republicans will be the only ones happy. Rep. Lewis wants as partisan maps as possible, as evidenced by his previous statements. “We want to make clear that we … are going to use political data in drawing this map,” Rep. Lewis said. “It is to gain partisan advantage on the map … I want that criteria to be clearly stated and understood.”

When drawing unconstitutional congressional maps, Lewis wanted to draw maps to elect 10 congressional Republicans and three Democrats “because I do not believe it’s possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats.”

CLAIM #3: “What we’re going to do is conduct an open and transparent process, where everybody has input and everyone is asked to send forward their ideas.”

TRANSLATION: Republicans want to stall any movement on new legislative maps for as long as possible to shut the door on possible special elections and to offer political rivals less time to recruit candidates and raise money. Just today, judges currently hearing the redistricting legal case condemned Republicans leaders for taking so long to announce new maps.

CLAIM #4: “I sincerely hope that the Democrats will engage in the legislative process and participate and give us their ideas.”

TRANSLATION: Republicans are going to lock out Democrats from the redistricting process, and have stated they will not allow Democrats to meet with Hofeller and outside experts.

“Dig beneath the weak spin and misleading statements and it’s clear that Republicans in Raleigh want nothing more than to rig the system for their favor again,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “Republicans are delaying new maps to help them politically no matter the damage it continues to cause our state.”