Thursday, December 1


I've been so angry today (well, actually yesterday, since it's now after midnight) about the revelation that career Department of Justice lawyers in the Civil Rights division were unanimous in their opinion that the 2003 Texas redistricting plan violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act but were overruled by Bush administration political appointees, who approved the plan.

I've been holed up for the past couple of days editing a company film and out of touch with the news except for alerts sent to my Blackberry by the Center for American Progress. When I took a break to check my e-mail today and learned about the WaPo article detailing the "secret memo," I was livid.

This is just another example of Tom DeLay's egregious partisan interference in Texas legislation. It's a sorry episode in Texas political history whose highlights included the "Ex-Terminator" abusing his power to call on Homeland Security to interfere with Texas Senate Democrats, who fled from the state in order to delay a vote on DeLay's redistricting plan. It resulted in the eradication of the Congessional seat of veteran Congressman Martin Frost -- who, I might add, was my own Congressman at the time. The convenient redistricting added five relatively safe seats for Republicans, solidifying the Rethug majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Texas Republican legislators knew the DeLay redistricting plan was likely in violation of the VRA -- but DeLay's minions pushed it through anyway. Wonder why they were so confident that it would be approved by the DOJ!

Why are we just now learning about the machinations in the Justice Department? Because the career lawyers were prevented from exposing their opinion by an unusual "gag rule."

Texas Democrats are challenging the redistricting in court.

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