Republican leaders have taken another shot at the redistricting process by “firing” two redistricting commissioners who have shown that they were effective and non-partisan. Make no mistake, this is a Republican against Republican fight and a clear example of the unacceptable culture in the GOP-controlled Statehouse. That culture is one of ongoing bullying and arrogance as GOP leaders seek to purge moderate, reasonable lawmakers from their ranks.
Larry Grant, Chairman of the Idaho State Democratic Party said, “This year’s redistricting fight is not between Democrats and Republicans. It’s a fight with GOP Party bosses on one side and reasonable Republicans on the other. The first redistricting commission stalemated and was unable to draw new legislative and congressional districts for the State because the GOP commissioners were instructed not to agree to anything.”
The Attorney General’s office has issued a legal opinion that redistricting commissioners can’t be fired, but that hasn’t stopped GOP leaders from ignoring the advice of Idaho’s top elected lawyer. Both Speaker of the Idaho House Lawerence Denney and Idaho Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko have told their appointees to hit the road and don’t come back—and both party bosses have shown little interest in the state’s constitution.
“There was a rumor going around even before the first redistricting commission was called that the GOP wanted to sabotage the process,” Grant said. “It’s pretty obvious that GOP leadership wants the commission to fail so they can put redistricting back in the legislature where they can use it to continue to purge their party of moderate Republicans.”