God bless the Free Lance-Star. The ghost of Paul Akers must be shaking his head… perhaps the last great editor the FLS had and a highlight among what has otherwise been leftist mediocrity.
Today’s edition? The FLS editorial board doesn’t like Bryce Reeves (go figure):
Reeves says his measure, by unifying a pair of split districts, makes things less confusing for voters and easier for elections officials to deal with. No denying that, but why were those concerns unimportant when the current map was drawn in 2011?
The mental acrobatics employed here are way to dizzying to read without several cups of coffee coursing through your veins. The FLS editors readily admit that the Democrats in 2011 gerrymandered the 17th. They readily admit that Reeves amendments make the already-Rorschachesque district more compact — a long standing desire of Democratic advocates of “non-partisan” redistricting (read: this works in one party’s favor for the moment, so we’ll call it non-partisan and throw the dice). And the FLS readily admits that the areas Reeves would absorb come from an even more gerrymandered 25th State Senate District that stretches from Rt. 29 to the West Virginia border…
So what’s the beef?
Certainly the senator must understand the perception of hypocrisy when he votes in favor of reforming the process only to introduce legislation designed to circumvent it for his own political gain.
Wait wait wait… so all of the talk about gerrymandering, more compact districts, heck — eliminating split precincts — all the talk about making redistricting more fair?
Guess it’s only “fair” when it works to someone else’s advantage, eh?
Now I will say this: altering lines long after the redistricting session is a very poor precedent (McAuliffe does have the right argument here). But the FLS’s editorial page misses the mark when they try to get to 800 words… because their argumentation isn’t the mere perception of hypocrisy. It is hypocrisy, and those wondering about the nature of non-partisan redistricting should remember this instance. One cannot make the argument and simultaneously attack its precepts when it no longer works to the advantage of the political left.