Monday, February 6, 2012

Progress Toward An April 3 Primary?

Updated February 6, 2012 @ 2:50pm

Has Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott attempted a hail Mary pass on redistricting interim maps?

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced some parties had reach agreement in the San Antonio District Court redistricting interim map trial, which is a step toward keeping Texas' primary election on track for April 3. But some minority groups are not supporting the map deal, Luis Vera, an attorney for the League of United Latin American Citizens, told The Associated Press.

Today was the deadline a San Antonio federal court gave the state and involved parties to reach a compromise, in order to try to keep the April 3 primary date

Abbott said in a statement released Monday, “The proposed maps minimize changes to the redistricting plan passed by the Legislature and, as the U. S. Supreme Court required, makes changes only where necessary."

“The proposed maps minimize changes to the redistricting plan passed by the Legislature and, as the U. S. Supreme Court required, makes changes only where necessary," Abbott said in a statement released Monday. "The Texas Attorney General’s Office has worked with a wide range of interest groups to incorporate reasonable requests from all parties to the extent possible without compromising the will of the Texas Legislature."

"Even though these proposed interim maps aren’t fully supported by all interest groups, modifications have been incorporated based on requests made by all parties," he said. "Today’s maps should allow the court to finalize the interim redistricting maps in time to have elections in April."

Last Friday, The Hill reported that the Texas interim districts map negotiations in the San Antonio District Court case were on verge of collapse. According to The Hill, “Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) had approached the various plaintiffs last week, seeking a compromise. Most plaintiffs assumed that he would offer a plan close to what they wanted, since the courts have indicated they will throw out the maps drawn by the Republicans in the Texas Legislature. Abbott offered much less than they’d hoped for, leaving the compromise highly in doubt.”

When Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott initiated talks last week for a possible compromise on interim districts maps, he invited only the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and one other of the nine groups representing minority groups, or politicians representing minorities groups in the San Antonio District Court case, which angered the groups not invited. According to an AP news story, seven Texas members of Congress of Latino, African and Asian ancestry today wrote a letter to demand their inclusion in any negotiations and warned they would appeal a interim district map deal if they're excluded.

Update February 6, 2012 @ 2:50pm

Texas Democratic Party responds to Attorney General Abbott's statement outlining an agreement reached with some parties regarding the ongoing redistricting legal fight -- We were not party to the talks which produced this agreement, we are not in agreement on the maps and we do not expect that these will be the maps under which our candidates will run in the 2012 election.

TDP spokesperson Rebecca AcuƱa released the following statement in response to the redistricting maps released by General Abbott:

“We’re greatly disappointed the Attorney General did not deal in good faith with all parties involved.

For the Texas Democratic Party, any maps that do not have the consent of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the Legislative Black Caucus, and other plaintiffs are nonstarters.

The Attorney General is clearly terrified that the DC court will find that the state’s maps are discriminatory in both effect and intent. Until there’s a legitimate agreement among the parties, we support the court continuing to do its work.”


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