OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICANS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2011
Contact: Nick Smith
HOUSE REPUBLICANS SUPPORT REDISTRICTING PLAN,
CALL FOR INDEPENDENT COMMISSION TO DEVELOP FUTURE PLANS
It’s Time to Take Redistricting out of the Hands of Politicians
SALEM—House Republicans on the Joint Redistricting Committee today voted to adopt a new legislative redistricting plan for the next 10 years. While the plan was developed through bipartisan negotiation, they say an independent commission is still needed to redraw legislative and congressional boundaries in the future.
“We’re on track to fulfill our constitutional duty and be the first assembly in decades to approve a legislative redistricting plan,” said Rep. Shawn Lindsay (R-Hillsboro), the Joint Redistricting Committee Co-Chair. “Redistricting is often described as the most partisan and political activity the Legislature can undertake. Today’s committee action demonstrates that Republicans are willing to work across the aisle to find common ground on critical issues.”
As a member of the joint committee, House Republican Leader Kevin Cameron (R-Salem) supported the plan but said its composition wasn’t necessarily fair. The role of the past and present Secretaries of State loomed large over the process.
“It should be recognized that this plan is based on the current plan, which 10 years ago was gerrymandered to give Democrats maximum political advantage,” Rep. Cameron said. “The threat of sending this process to yet another Democratic Secretary of State was an important issue in these negotiations. While we appreciate the willingness of the Democratic Co-Chairs to work with us, this plan is neither fair nor balanced.”
House Republicans renewed their call for the creation of an independent, nonpartisan commission to develop future legislative and congressional plans.
“It took 60 years for the Legislature to agree on a plan and, at this rate, it will be 2071 before we do it again,” said Rep. Sal Esquivel (R-Medford), a Joint Redistricting Committee member. “It’s time to take redistricting out of the hands of politicians and create an independent redistricting commission to prevent political gerrymandering in the future.”