Loading...
BYH Big head Little head Trump's porn star affected his little head So What!. The cocaine Obama put in his big head...

The only solution to gerrymandering

042117Cooper-1.jpg

Gov. Roy Cooper speaks with East Carolina Innovation and Economic Development staff during his visit to the ECU Innovation Design Lab Thursday, April 20, 2017.

Loading…

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Gov. Roy Cooper is trying to browbeat state lawmakers back to the drawing board in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down 28 of North Carolina’s legislative districts as racial gerrymanders.

Cooper called a special session of the General Assembly on June 8, interrupting the regular session already in progress, for the purpose of redrawing district maps. Republican leaders ignored the Democratic governor’s prodding.

The governor has the constitutional authority to call lawmakers into session “by and with the advice of the Council of State,” but his counterparts argue his call was constitutionally invalid.

Cooper wants the maps redrawn post-haste, as his party is racing the clock in a push for special legislative elections in modified districts this fall. Absent a court order, it’s unlikely that will transpire. Republicans are likely to drag their feet, delaying mapmaking until off-year legislative elections would no longer be viable.

The latest stunt shows redistricting for what it is — an overtly partisan exercise. Courts have said, after all, that gerrymandering is OK as long as it’s done for political reasons. Only racial gerrymanders are forbidden.

Republicans continued a shameful tradition during the 2011 redistricting process. But as they correctly point out, Cooper doesn’t have a lot of credibility when he feigns outrage at misshapen maps.

When he served in the N.C. Senate, Cooper’s district was, to put it charitably, asymmetrical. It covered all of Nash County, swung through Wilson County in a distorted C-shape, added two tumor-like growths in Edgecombe County and carved a jagged path through Halifax County.

Sen. Andrew Brock, R-Davie, compared Cooper’s former Senate district to “abstract art” in a News & Observer story. Touché.

The Democrats are right about the Republicans. And the Republicans are right about the Democrats. Both parties’ creative compositions of legislative districts look like finger-painting projects.

We’re reminded of Albert Einstein’s oft-quoted comment on the definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

New district maps may reduce racial disparities, but they are sure to preserve political advantages for Republicans. And if Democrats return to power in a wave election, the districts they draw after the 2020 census will be similarly slanted to favor them.

The only way out of this maddening cycle is to establish an independent redistricting commission tasked with creating compact, competitive legislative and congressional districts.

The conservative John Locke Foundation and the liberal North Carolina Justice Center both favor putting the maps in neutral hands. The venerable think tanks join a host of interest groups on the left, right and center who support fair, nonpartisan mapmaking.

A Public Policy Polling survey taken earlier this year found that 59 percent of voters support independent redistricting, 26 percent aren’t sure and only 15 percent oppose it.

Despite the clarion call for reform, the General Assembly refuses to cede its power.

Why do we continue allowing our representatives to pick their voters? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

The Wilson Times

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

July 16, 2018

Thanks to tinkering by North Carolina’s General Assembly, voters this November will face a virtual book of a ballot, chock full of somewhat bewildering constitutional amendments.

Some are rather silly, such as the amendment to establish a constitutional right to hunt and fish ... except when…

N.C. Legislative Building

July 14, 2018

Dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states because the blood sport — usually accompanied by heavy wagering — is cruel to dogs. Yet in North Carolina most dogs rescued from such operations face an even harsher fate. Those that show scars and wounds from fighting are deemed dangerous and…

DOG1_1.jpg

July 13, 2018

The Government Accountability Office has once again warned Congress that the federal government’s current fiscal trajectory is “unsustainable.”

In a report submitted to Congress on June 21, the GAO notes the federal deficit has continued to grow every year in the last few years.…

Congress Returns

July 11, 2018

Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court comes at a tense moment. It could drastically shift the court's tenuous ideological balance, and it comes not long after Senate Republicans disgracefully blocked President Barack Obama from making a…

POST-EDITORIAL-SCOTUS

July 10, 2018

On Monday, President Donald Trump is expected to announce his nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Given the president's promise to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, it's widely understood that his nominee will pose a clear danger to women's reproductive…

Nancy Northup

July 10, 2018

Ordinarily when NATO's 29 national leaders get together, everybody involved pushes for all the good things they want the alliance to do. At this week's summit in Brussels, they'll mainly be hoping to keep anything bad from happening.

The center of Europe's current concerns will come as no surprise:…

Romania NATO Britain Fallon-2

July 08, 2018

Setting aside whether the Senate should confirm a Supreme Court nominee in an election year (the Merrick Garland rule) or whether a president should be allowed to appoint a justice while still under the cloud of the Russian meddling investigation (given the variety of issues such as whether a…

SCOTUS-ADF

July 07, 2018

After the Parkland, Fla., school shooting in February but before this year’s legislative session, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore said he wanted to address school safety issues but only those measures that could have bipartisan support.

But Moore killed a proposal similar to one included in a…

Tim Moore

July 06, 2018

On Sunday, when the state budget kicked into a new fiscal year, many employees across state government will get a nice boost to their paychecks: Their hourly wage will be elevated to $15, with the State Highway Patrol getting a little more.

Legislators added this adjustment last month in their now-…

US Minimum Wage-1

July 05, 2018

State fishing license requirements were suspended Wednesday in honor of the Fourth of July. If voters pass a constitutional amendment establishing the right to hunt and fish, could anglers enjoy the same freedom 365 days a year?

In short, probably not.

The text of Senate Bill 677, which places an…

070513RiverParkNorth4_0.jpg-1
105 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 11
        Next Page»   Last Page»