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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)

“So just in case anyone’s not following the bouncing ball on this, let’s be very, very clear about Democrats’ latest redistricting scheme that was tossed into the lame-duck pot a week before Christmas: It is an utterly shameless effort to advance the Democratic cause. Party leaders with integrity need to shut this down, now. […] Democrats wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t feel it was to their advantage, so ignore any attempt to add some sort of nonpartisan sheen to this proposal.”- Asbury Park Press Editorial Board (Dec. 28, 2015)

“Regardless of the merits of this proposal, which many analysts say will help Democrats win elections, it was a power play that should offend us all. This amendment could fundamentally alter the balance between the two political parties in our state. There’s no justification for rushing the language through in lame duck session, right before the holiday. Opponents deserve to have their questions answered.” – The Star-Ledger Editorial Board (Dec. 28, 2015)

“We oppose this amendment — this resolution because it disenfranchises 75 percent of New Jersey’s registered voters. It literally alienates New Jersey’s independent, unaffiliated voters, who are the majority, and the nicest shot of fair representation to the Latino community in New Jersey. That should not be constitutionalized.” – Maria Teresa Montilla, M.D., President of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey (Jan. 7, 2016)

“It seems to be lock-step following a leader that we had in the last century. When he took over his country, he didn’t do it with guns. He did it with devices like SCR188 and other means of manipulation in his government before he became a threat to all of Europe and the world. That’s Adolph Hitler. This, SCR188, is fascist. It is a one-party rule.” – Gregory Quinlan, President of Garden State Families (Jan. 7, 2016)

Click here for a full transcript of the Jan. 7, 2016 committee hearing, including remarks by many of those who opposed the amendment. Those who testified in opposition include:

Patrick Murray, Monmouth University Polling Institute
Ingrid Reed, formerly of Rutgers Eagleton
Maria Teresa Montilla, M.D., Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey
Michael Egenton, NJ Chamber of Commerce
Gregory Quinlan
John T. Tomicki, League of American Families

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