Gov. Chris Sununu is receiving particularly heated criticism for his veto of a bill dealing with how, and by whom, voting districts are drawn. The bill was hailed by its backers as bipartisan but the criticism is now being led by a national Democratic redistricting political committee. None other than Eric Holder, former President Barack Obama’s attorney general, leads the PAC.
The bill, Holder claims in a paid ad, would have created a “more representative democracy and put the interests of the people ahead of politicians.”
The governor, he says “apparently wants to perpetuate a system where politicians pick their voters and citizens do not get to choose their representatives.”
What twaddle. Do you, as a voter, feel that you haven’t been able to choose your representatives?
Redistricting, which is done along with the once-a-decade U.S. census, is overseen by representatives elected by the voters, not the other way around. The fact that the political party with a legislative majority that year calls the shots is not something new. In New Hampshire, both Democrats and Republicans over the years have been in that position.
The point, and Gov. Sununu raised it, is that the elected representatives, rather than an unelected commission, is the better vehicle for the job. (A Democratic operative recently confided to us that he thought it was crazy for Republican legislators to go along with this plan.)
Former U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg was recently asked about redistricting commissions at a civics event. He also cited concern with turning the job over to an unelected body. He also recalled that one state in which a commission was successful was where there were an even number of members, divided equally between the parties.
Now that might have some merit. You either convince the other party as to district changes, or you end up with a tie and the status quo. Meanwhile, New Hampshire’s system will do.