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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Statement on Proposed Legislative Redistricting Reforms

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean released the following statement on a report from leading academics on “Improving New Jersey’s Legislative Apportionment Process.”

Sen. Tom Kean’s statement on a report from leading academics on “Improving New Jersey’s Legislative Apportionment Process.” (SenateNJ.com)

“Last year, we raised the alarm when Democrats attempted to fast-track a constitutional amendment that would have made legislative elections less competitive while cementing permanent Democratic majorities in the New Jersey Legislature,” said Kean (R-21). “With broad bipartisan support from outside groups and respected academics, we defeated their attempt to rig our elections. Any changes to improve how we reapportion legislative districts should focus on making the process fairer and more transparent.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Testifies in Opposition to “Undemocratic” Constitutional Amendment

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean testified in opposition to a proposed amendment to the New Jersey Constitution, SCR-43/SCR-152/ACR-205, at a public hearing today in the Senate State Government Committee.

Included below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

Testimony for Public Hearing on SCR-43/SCR-152/ACR-205
Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean
December 13, 2018

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to speak.

I am here to express my strong opposition to SCR-43, SCR-152, and ACR-205.

The constitutional amendment that’s before us today is undemocratic. It’s a shameless stunt and a power grab that is designed to give Democrats in the Legislature a permanent majority.

Those aren’t my words. Rather, they’re the dire warnings expressed by a host of independent election experts, newspapers, civil rights leaders, and academics from across the political spectrum.

In fact, not a single person, not a single expert, not a single organization…left, right, or center…has come out in support of this proposal.

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New Jersey Senate Republicans

ALERT: Opposition to Dems’ Redistricting Scheme to Rig Elections Holds Strong

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TOMORROW, Thursday, Dec. 13, New Jersey Democrats will hold public hearings on a constitutional amendment that would disenfranchise millions of voters. The legislation, SCR-43, would make cataclysmic changes to New Jersey’s legislative redistricting process. 

The Assembly and State Senate hearings will both be held at 11 a.m. in Committee Room 11 and Committee Room 4, respectively, in the Statehouse Annex, making it cumbersome for the many who are opposed to testify on the record.


Not a single expert witness or group testified in favor of SCR-43 during a Nov. 26, 2018 committee hearing on the constitutional amendment. In the weeks that have followed, dozens of nonpartisan election experts, editorial writers, and advocates from across the political spectrum have joined the chorus of opposition to this effort to disenfranchise our democracy.

Here’s what else they’re saying…. 

“This has been a classic throw something out in the proverbial backrooms. It’s completely unacceptable,”Governor Phil Murphy (Insider NJ, Nov. 27, 2018)

“It’s the most undemocratic solution possible,” he said. “It’s bizarre. You have supporters of the bill being incredibly disingenuous about giving voters greater choice.” – Patrick Murray Monmouth University Polling Institute (NJ Spotlight, Dec. 12, 2018)

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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senate Republicans Urge Sponsors to Table “Undemocratic” Constitutional Amendment on Redistricting

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The fifteen members of the Senate Republican caucus sent a letter today urging the sponsors of a proposed amendment to the New Jersey Constitution to table the proposal, saying it is clearly designed to impart a permanent electoral advantage to incumbents and legislative candidates from the Democratic Party.

Senate Republicans urged the sponsors of a proposed constitutional amendment to table the proposal, saying it is clearly designed to impart a permanent electoral advantage to incumbents and legislative candidates from the Democratic Party. (SenateNJ.com)

In the letter to Senator Nicholas Scutari and Senate President Stephen Sweeney, the sponsors of SCR-43/SCR-152, the caucus notes the uniform opposition to the proposal from a host of independent election experts, civil rights groups, and academics from across the political spectrum.

Click here to view a PDF of the letter.

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New Jersey Senate Republicans

ICYMI: Opposition to Dems’ Redistricting Power-Play Continues to Mount

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Not a single expert witness or group testified in favor of SCR-43 during a Nov. 26, 2018 committee hearing on the constitutional amendment, which would make cataclysmic changes to New Jersey ‘s legislative redistricting process.

The constitutional amendment, as proposed by New Jersey Democrats, has been widely characterized as a political scheme designed to cement a permanent Democratic majority, disenfranchising millions of New Jersey voters in the process.

The following is a roundup of statements made by nonpartisan election experts, academics, journalists, elected officials, and representatives from variety of organization spanning the political spectrum, who have opposed the legislation since news of the amendment came to light shortly before Thanksgiving.

Here’s what they’re saying…

“I’m a proud Democrat, but I’m also a believer in democracy and opening up democracy and transparency and good processes of government in getting to the right solutions. And I don’t think this meets those tests,”  Governor Phil Murphy (NJ.com, Nov. 26, 2018)

“This has been a classic throw something out in the proverbial backrooms. It’s completely unacceptable,”Governor Phil Murphy (Insider NJ, Nov. 27, 2018)

“This is undemocratic. Voters should be choosing their politicians — not the other way around.” – Helen Kioukis, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey (Nov. 26, 2018)

“Such a map would create an artificial, evenly-distributed advantage for the majority party. This would drastically reduce the number of seats for the minority party in a way most New Jerseyans would consider to be unfair,” Brian Williams, Princeton University Gerrymandering Project (Nov. 26, 2018)

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New Jersey Senate Republicans

ICYMI: Dems’ Redistricting Scheme Has History of Widespread Opposition

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REMINDER: New Jersey Democrats’ attempts to pass a constitutional amendment that would rig the legislative redistricting process to secure a permanent majority has long-faced widespread opposition from a variety of organizations, editorial boards, and nonpartisan New Jersey election experts.

On Monday, Senate Democrats will attempt to fast track the amendment (SCR-43) through the Senate Budget Committee, with little concern for transparency.

Here’s what’s others have said about the amendment:

“The constitutional amendment is worded in such a way as to pull the wool over voters’ eyes. This is Democrats being overly greedy for no good reason. It’s almost certain that they will do well with the next map and there are less egregious ways to prioritize the fairness metric. This just further erodes public trust in government for little actual gain.” Patrick Murray, Monmouth University Polling Institute Director  (Politico, Nov. 19, 2018)

NJ Democrats’ attempts to rig the legislative redistricting process has long-faced widespread opposition. Here’s a roundup of what’s been said. (©iStock)

“To provide this kind of instruction to the commission undermines, I think, what it was intended to do and its value of being able to have both objective and subjective deliberations. Whatever party benefits, that’s not the point. The point is how the process is conducted. And I think this very specific information about how competitiveness should be determined really undermines the process.” – Ingrid Reed, former director of the Eagleton Institute’s New Jersey Project ( Jan. 7, 2016)

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean: Democrats’ Redistricting Amendment About Cementing Their Control, Limiting Voter Choice

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Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean said a constitutional amendment (SCR-43) being fast-tracked by Democrats is designed to make legislative elections less competitive while cementing permanent Democratic majorities in the New Jersey Legislature.

Sen. Tom Kean said a constitutional amendment proposed by Democrats is designed to make legislative elections less competitive while cementing permanent Democratic majorities in the New Jersey Legislature. (SenateNJ.com)

“The constitutional amendment proposed by New Jersey Democrats is not about making our elections fairer or legislative districts more competitive,” said Kean. “This sham of an amendment is about power. It’s about Democrats who have controlled the Legislature for nearly two decades trying to cement their power by permanently rigging the election process in their favor.”

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Steven Oroho

District 24

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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