Anglo district boundaries were redrawn to include particular country clubs and, in one case, the school belonging to the incumbent’s grandchildren.U.S. Circuit Judge Thomas Griffith • In his court’s recent decision to ditch Texas’ redistricting maps, which were in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the court found. Schools and hospitals, for example, were removed from districts with black incumbents. And, as Griffith notes above, country clubs were added to districts with white incumbents. On top of that, a lawyer used the phrase “no bueno” when emphasizing that the plans used shouldn’t leave a paper trail. The Texas Attorney General plans to appeal the ruling, which comes as part of a recent history of redistricting in the state that led to jail time for Tom Delay.
Still waiting on history: Protests and passions have continued to flare as the New York state senate has still not yet resolved the gay marriage bill before it. The AP is reporting that Wednesday might be the decisive day, but it’s not certain — legislative schedules change dynamically, as they did last week when it rumors swirled that Friday would bring a vote for the bill. Also of note in this video is the New York Giants’ Super Bowl hero of a few seasons ago, David Tyree, giving one of the most common, irritating arguments against gay marriage; if marriage is one way for a long time, why change it? This argument’s been used in other cases, of course — ones which most people now view as pretty dubious. source
New York close to marriage equality: As it stands now, New York could become the 6th state to legalize gay marriage, if they can convince just one more Republican state senator to support it. The problem is that in situations when one legislator’s vote tips the balance, that person might get labeled as having cast “the deciding vote.” The question is what a Republican on the fence fears more: conservative backlash against gay marriage support, or the ire of pro-equality advocate groups (58% of New Yorkers support gay marriage). It’s possible this could get a vote tomorrow — we’ll be following it. source
I’m one of the Fabulous 14 and I’m so proud. We are back to unite and fight with our supporters. We gave them hope. They gave us inspiration.Democratic Wisconsin State Sen. Spencer Coggs • Discussing his return to Wisconsin after nearly three weeks of stalemate status. They were welcomed by the protesters in Madison. Republicans tried really hard to get them back – holding their paychecks, taking away staffer’s parking and access to copy machines, trying to pass even crazier crap than the collective bargaining thang – but ultimately, it was the roundabout sneak attack which finally brought the Fabulous 14 to the land of cheese and cheap beer. source (via • follow)
We were left with no choice … The question is when are the Republicans going to sit down seriously with the other side on this issue and try to work something out.Democrat Wisconsin state Sen. Jon Erpenbach • Explaining why he chose to leave the state, and what it will take to get him back. He and every other Democratic state senator in Wisconsin left in protest of a GOP-backed plan to limit public employees’ abilities to collectively bargain for better wages, in a push to stop a deficit crisis. As a result, the GOP doesn’t have quorum – because 20 state senators need to be there, and there are 19 Republicans. This is the first such incident were an entire party left a state to avoid a vote since Democratic members of the Texas state senate and state house left the state to avoid a vote on redistricting – the same vote, mind you, that led to Tom DeLay’s corruption conviction. source (via • follow)