Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TCRP Chair Dr. Rosemary Edwards leads effort for better redistricting map

April 26, 2011

Wednesday, April 27 will be a House Vote on the re-districting map for the next decade.  Here is the Youtube video on the latest developments and the latest version of the map that will be presented by Rep. Erwin Cain.  Please call your representatives if you support this latest map and view this message from Rep. Wayne Christian and Joe Nixon:

Rosemary Edwards, Travis County Chairman

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pending Vote on Redisticting Could Check Conservative Advance in Texas

Tomorrow is an important day in Texas politics. That is because the full House will be considering the Redistricting Committee's recommended map of 150 Texas House Districts that once agreed upon will endure for a decade (5 election cycles). If they vote for the committee recommendation they will be voting to keep conservatives in check in Texas for the next decade.

In lieu of the committee's map is a map chartered by and for the conservative members of the Texas House. Previously known as the Nixon Map (being put together by Joe Nixon and Trey Trainer) Rep. Cain will be offering it as a substitute to the committee's map and it is "PLAN H212 REP. CAIN STATEWIDE SUBSTITUTE CSHB 150" on the official map viewer.

It's worth repeating, Rep. Erwin Cain has filed this map as an amendment to the House Redistricting Committee's map CSHB 150 that will be voted on this Wednesday April 27th.
Watch this video to learn more.

Below is a message I sent to Central Texas Republican Assembly members and friends this past weekend. I've updated the message by making reference to the version of the Nixon Map that will be laid on the table on Wednesday as a substitute to the committee's map.
Dear CTRA Members and Friends,

Late in the day on Good Friday, Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) weighed in on the redistricting map passed out of committee last Tuesday. TLR expressed praise for the Solomons plan amended and adopted by the House Redistricting Committee ( , PLANH153) and in so doing backhanded other plans. I think the Nixon plan--now called
PLAN H212 REP. CAIN STATEWIDE SUBSTITUTE CSHB 150--may have been an intended target, though TLR never mentioning a plan by name.

In its redistricting plan “endorsement”, the TLR press release reads:
Texans for Lawsuit Reform is interested in redistricting because it will impact Texas elections for years. Politics impact policy. Elections matter. TLR PAC, in its campaign activities, has consistently worked to promote and maintain a majority in the Texas Legislature of conservative men and women who believe in a fair, balanced and predictable civil justice system.
Our judgment is that alternative statewide maps that have been proffered publicly recently are not likely to result in sustainable conservative majorities.
(emphasis mine)

Understand that when TLR uses the word “conservative” it means the “conservative” values and interest of TLR (namely tort reform). For the record, I am for lawsuit reform, as are many challengers that TLR opposes every election, but I am not a one issue conservative like the leadership of TLR seem to be. This TLR backhand to Joe Nixon (PLAN H212 REP. CAIN STATEWIDE SUBSTITUTE CSHB 150) seems like just another attempt to neuter the TEA Party movement and true fiscal and social conservatives (i.e. Reagan Republicans like the members of the Republican Assemblies). If elections matter, then I believe the PLAN H212 REP. CAIN STATEWIDE SUBSTITUTE CSHB 150 better represents the will of the voters on Nov 2, 2010.

PLANH153 pairs some conservative Reps who backed Ken Paxton for Speaker of the House. This pairing is an attempt to reduce the number of Reps who oppose Strauss by combining their districts, thus making them have to run against each other. As I understand it, PLANH153 reduces the total number of Republican districts—down from the 99 elected in 2010 to only 92 (some say 82) electable Rs in 2012 and beyond. This Solomons plan (Rep. Bert Solomons is the chair of the committee) reduces Travis County from the potential 3/3, D/R that it was 10 years ago (and I believe still was last year in spite of the certified outcome) to 5/1, D/R. The Solomons Plan (which one Travis County Democrat who testified on Palm Sunday raved over) adopted by the House committee, as amended, truly cuts the conservative baby in half, sacrificing it on the alter of “can’t we [Republicans and Democrats] all just get along.” That is not the wisdom of Solomon, Rep. Solomons.

To refresh your memory, TLR’s President and PAC chairman is Mr. Richard Trabulsi, Jr who helped (with lots of TLR PAC money) get his nephew, Mark Strama re-elected in HD 50 last year (which will be easier to do in 2012 under redistricting PLANH153—though HD 50 also loses R voters in the Nixon Plan). I live in HD 50 and did not appreciate “Uncle T” backing (with $$$$$ and TLR endorsement) my non-representive-of-my-values Representative, Mark Strama. TLR PAC also backed Obama Strama’s “twin”, Patrick Rose, in HD 45 who fortunately Jason Isaac soundly defeated. I would not put it past Mr. T, who is a Democrat, to be using this TLR endorsement of the Solomons plan, to further consolidate TLR’s, and thus his own, powerful control of the Texas House through the ruse of Lawsuit Reform, which did I mention I and many of those who run against TLR backed incumbents are also in favor of? TLR maintains its influence primarily through the perpetuation of TLR friendly incumbents.

DISCLAIMER: I’ve been told that PLANH153 is better for Williamson county Republicans than the original Nixon plan is. I believe HD 20 is the main issue there. However, PLANH153 makes HD 20 a three headed hydra, containing the northern half of Williamson with all of Burnet and Milam counties. From the testimony I heard on Palm Sunday at the committee hearing, I believe Burnet County objects to this arrangement and Milam county prefers to identify with Georgetown and not with Burnet. I’m just pointing out that there may still need to be some tweaks, but the Nixon plan is a better place to tweak from than PLANH153.

The above is my opinion and I am sure that wiser and more informed people than me will be arguing on both sides, but one thing is a given, this is a political struggle and in the end the shrewdest political heads will prevail. In the mean time, prep your Rep for the upcoming vote by the full House (that means tell them to support Rep. Cain's substitute
PLAN H212 for CSHB 150). You have less than 24 hours left to do so. The vote is calendared for Wednesday. I am suggesting that on the question of CSHB 150 you tell him or her to vote for PLAN H212 REP. CAIN STATEWIDE SUBSTITUTE CSHB 150.

Conservative Redistricting Regards,

Timothy E. Bradberry, P.E.
Immediate Past President of the Board, Central Texas Republican Assembly (CTRA)
Committeeman to the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) for the Texas Republican Assembly (TxRA)

CTRA Website
TxRA Website
NFRA Website