Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year, New Plans for TX-32

Over the holidays, Sessions Watchers couldn't help but discuss the future of our congressional district at various Christmas and New Years' gatherings! Even as we celebrated the holidays, the conversation would turn political. Here's a wrap-up of the season's party talk:

Redistricting: After the 2010 census, Texas is due to gain 3-4 House seats; at a New Year's Day party, State Representative Roberto Alonzo said that two of those seats might be in North Texas. When asked about the future of TX-32, Representative Alonzo said that the lines would most likely be redrawn, and that there would be an effort to make all district lines more compact, less gerrymandered all over the place to create "safe seats." A couple of people proposed the idea of citizen input, giving neighborhood leaders a chance to propose district lines which kept areas with similar interests together. This comment touched off a lively discussion of Pete Sessions' infamous "lost in Oak Cliff" incident, concluding with the wish that any future Congressman should actually be familiar with every part of the Congressional district. Representative Alonzo listened, but remained non-committal to proposed ideas.

(Yesterday, there was a hopeful sign of bi-partisan sensiblity in the Texas House of Representatives as Joe Straus was elected House Speaker, defeating the rabidly right-wing Tom Craddick. With Straus as Speaker, we're unlikely to see any more of the Tom-DeLay-style power grabbing that created this hopelessly gerrymandered 32nd congressional district. Keep your fingers crossed that we've seen the last of that particular brand of right-wing-nuttery).

Republicans: Somewhere around New Year's Eve, a Sessions Watcher identified a prominent North Texas Republican who is interested in running in the existing 32nd District, but who will not run unless Pete Sessions retires, especially now that Sessions is NRCC Chair. The discussion turned to the upcoming census, and the probability of lines being redrawn, which would create opportunities for new candidtates to run for Congress.

Democrats: Although Democrats admit that the current gerrymandered district is pretty much of a lost cause, they will definitely challenge the seat again in 2010. Democrats consider Pete Sessions' new position a NRCC Chair as having made him a target, and hope that the DCCC is thinking along the same lines and will send money their way in 2010.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Who are "neighborhood leaders," and why would I want them drawing districts? This is not to say that I trust legislators to do it themselves. Why not leave it to scientists? Furthermore, what is the supposed benefit of grouping people into districts based on "similar interests." Would we not have livelier, more informed debates if district lines followed the lay of the land? Nature abhors a mono-culture you know.