Thursday, June 29, 2006

Silver Lining in Tom DeLay Cloud

The audacity of former Congressman Tom DeLay knows no limits.

Spinning yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to partially uphold his redistricting ploy in Texas, DeLay said it was all about the constitution, the Washington Post reports.

"This is a victory for the Constitution and a victory for the people of Texas," DeLay said in an interview. "It shows if you follow the Constitution and the state legislatures do their job as dictated by the Constitution, you'll have the right political representation in the Congress."
Howling Latina was one of many volunteers who tried to defeat Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of the 23rd District in Texas during this year's primary; and the Supreme Court decision could lead to Cuellar’s ouster in the next election cycle. But more importantly, the ruling could also lead to one or more pickups in Texas during the mid-term House elections.

“The justices ruled that the redrawing of Texas Rep. Henry Bonilla's 23rd District strengthened the Republican's grasp on his seat by diluting Latino voters' power and violating the Voting Rights Act. Remedying that infraction will affect at least three districts and, possibly, many others, said Nina Perales, the Southwestern counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which argued the case.”


A three-judge panel in Texas will have to decide in the coming weeks how to redraw those lines, and "there's no way you can do a little fixing of Bonilla's district without creating big ripple effects," said Richard Gladden, a Denton, Tex., lawyer involved in the case. "There's not a chance" DeLay's map will remain intact.

Indeed; and remember the Democrats only need a net pick up of 15 seats in the fall.

Now that the High Court has ruled states can redistrict for partisan purposes, as long as they do not violate the Voting Rights Act (as Texas did), HL predicts the House to flip to Democrats for a very long, long time.

The Democratic Party, by virtue of demographics in urban cities, has a sheer majority in many states with high-ranking GOPers like Speaker of the House Dennis Hastern of Illinois in grave danger.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Chairman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois is quoted as saying:

"Every redistricting is a partisan political exercise, but this is going to put it at a level we have never seen...That's the gift that the Supreme Court and Tom DeLay have given us."

But arrogant and dissembling as always, DeLay whirls and twists the truth about his political downfall as the price for gerrymandering:
"It's always worth it to stand up for the Constitution," DeLay said.

Update: The Fix of the Washington Post notes that former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez has "new life" after his disappointing defeat in the primary to Cuellar.
Assuming the courts remove Webb County out of Cuellar's 28th district and consolidate the seat around San Antonio (as it was prior to the re-redistricting) Rodriguez would be the odds-one nominee in the new seat.

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