Senate Rules Chair Tom Apodaca decreed from on high Tuesday that bipartisan legislation that would create an independent redistricting process is “dead. It’s not going anywhere.”
Apodaca certainly ought to understand what the legislation sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers that includes conservative Republican Rep. Paul Stam is trying to accomplish, as Apodaca was himself a co-sponsor of a redistricting reform plan three different times, including in the 2009-2010 legislative session.
(Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger sponsored similar legislation five times when he was in the minority)
The hypocrisy of Apodaca and Berger now claiming that redistricting reform is a bad idea after sponsoring it for so many years is troubling enough, but the fact that one member of the Senate can unilaterally decide that a proposal is dead even before it’s introduced is even more outrageous and ought to give lawmakers of both parties pause.
It does make you wonder though. Why fool around with a six month session, long debates, press conferences and briefings, floor votes, amendments and all the rest? Let’s just let Sen. Apodaca decide up front what passes and what doesn’t.
Think of the time and money we’d save. A banana republic can be very efficient.