Voting bill includes provision to keep redistricting process secret

Tucked away at the end of today’s massive additions to the bill formerly known only as the “Voter Information Verification Act,” H589, is a provision (at Part 58) that allows lawmakers to keep communications and documents during the redistricting process secret so long as they pass them through their attorneys.

Ҥ 120-133. Redistricting communications.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all drafting and information requests to  legislative employees and documents prepared by legislative employees for legislators  concerning redistricting the North Carolina General Assembly or the Congressional Districts  are no longer confidential and become public records upon the act establishing the relevant  district plan becoming law.

(b) Nothing in this section nor in Chapter 132 of the General Statutes shall be construed  as a waiver of the common-law attorney-client privilege nor of the common law work product doctrine . . .

The provision attempts to codify a court ruling in the pending redistricting case which, as we reported previously, resulted in lawmakers being able to withhold from disclosure an array of documents and communications relating to the development of the 2011 redistricting plans — in effect, pushing much of the entire process behind closed doors.

 

 

 

8 Comments

  1. ML

    July 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Those emails would have turned the redistricting case on its head if they were allowed into evidence. This transparency thing is all a big joke to the republican big wigs.

  2. Doug

    July 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    ML,
    As it has been traditionally for all political big wigs (nice straw man by the way). If you think the tactics are any different than had been practiced for the 140+ year reign of terror the democrats subjected us to, then you are quite the niaive soul. Can you name a time when transparency was the mode of operation….maybe Jim Black, or Basnight were fully transparent in all their redistricting dealings…..riiiiight.

  3. Jack

    July 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Reign of terror? Only a Republican would view civil liberties as a terror.

  4. James Protzman

    July 23, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Doug continues to stand on the immoral side of history. There were countless good-government advocates who strongly criticized Democratic abuse of power, including me. And there were countless partisan whores who cheered them on if it meant holding onto power.

    Now that the shoe is on the other foot, both labels still apply. Anyone who stands by the Republican abuse of power because “the Democrats did it too” is an enemy of democracy, freedom and justice.

  5. ML

    July 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Doug I’m not defending behavior of past democrats but to pledge it then so blatantly disregard it makes you just as guilty. So your reign of terror continues but just perpetrated by the people you defend.

  6. Doug

    July 24, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    ML
    You have any links where there is a pledge to be any different from prior regimes? My guess is that no member of the GOP….maybe other than John Blust….promised to keep everything in the public realm. I for one would be all for it…but I doubt if the tables were turned there would be posts like this on this blog. And you were not commenting on blogs, or in pre internet days discussing with your friends, to the effect that these democrats are being too secretive in their gerrymandering efforts.

  7. ML

    July 25, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    How bout every campaign ever…

  8. ML

    July 25, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Facts: Registered Republican, raised republican, had republican friends, still do have republican friends, but I always leaned moderate and have sense developed my own ideals and beliefs which flow more liberally now. Especially in these super stratified poltical times.