Commentary

Winston-Salem Journal to legislative leaders: Stop wasting public’s money on gerrymandering

Be sure to check out this morning’s lead editorial in the Winston-Salem Journal. In “Wasting Public Money,” the Journal blast the endless efforts of state legislative leaders to defend (at public expense) their indefensible redistricting plans. Here are some excerpts:

“The GOP-led state legislature is running up quite a tab in court with taxpayers footing the bill. It has spent almost $7 million defending against lawsuits attacking its redistricting efforts, News & Record reporter Taft Wireback wrote last week.

And the tab keeps rising, in spite of court decisions against the GOP redistricting efforts, the latest coming Tuesday from a panel of federal court judges. But — of course — legislators plan to keep fighting.”

Fighting to maintain an unfair electoral advantage, no matter who initiates it or what party it serves, should upset all taxpayers. This is money that could be better spent for many better causes, like in our schools.

After noting that at least a couple of Republicans have expressed a willingness to support legislation to create a nonpartisan redistricting commission, the editorial concludes this way:

“We need more champions on both sides to step forward and fight for fair redistricting. Yes, Democrats played rough too, but this cycle has to stop somewhere.

Republicans have an opportunity to make a difference right now by cooperating with the courts and passing legislation calling for an independent redistricting commission to draw voting districts in the future.

We need to get past the heavy costs of these continuous court battles, not to mention the damage to the state’s reputation and to voter confidence. And the people would finally get something substantial: elections in which voters choose the candidates, instead of the candidates choosing their voters.”

Exactly.

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