Saturday, January 14, 2012

Common Cause's Mike Dean on redistricting

In an interview on January 13, 2012, Executive Director of Common Cause Mike Dean offered some remarks on the redistricting process and its current status in Minnesota.

Because of the timing of the Supreme Court's decision, Minnesota citizens will attend their caucuses early in February, picking delegates, but not knowing which Senate District convention the delegates will attend; that's certainly true in some of the more populous parts of the state.

As Mike relates in the video, Common Cause tried to file an amicus brief (that would include a proposed map based on the announced creteria) with the Court, but the request was denied after objection by the Republican Party of Minnesota. The rationale was that the public was invited to provide input earlier on what the decision-making criteria should be.

The only maps extant at that time were the ones that the Republican-controlled Legislature had prepared and which had been vetoed by the Governor. The result of the Court's ruling on the Common Cause request is that only activists and party insiders have the Court's ear on actual maps, as opposed to vague and aspirational considerations.

Mike charitably call the process "broken."

The video is eleven minutes long, but it's your chance to go to school on redistricting.

Look for more video from Mike's interview in coming days, focusing on campaign finance disclosure, political party financing and disclosure hijinks,  and the corrupting role of corporate lobbyists.

Update: Here's a video from Real Progress TV that also might be of interest to you

It features host Audrey Britton interviewing redistricting expert Peter Wattson and MN State Representative Melissa Hortman.

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