Why Do Dems Now Want a Special Session?
Earlier today, House Reapportionment Chairman Tommy Reynolds delivered a letter to Haley Barbour asking that he call a special session for legislators to tackle redistricting. Barbour hasn’t responded, and there is no reason for him to do. I imagine the hope of Democrats is that they can flip a few Republican Senators who may not be thrilled with their current districts. One thing that has been overlooked during this battle is that Republican House and Senate members largely put aside their personal interests aside for what is viewed as the interest of the party. Could Dems convince nervous Senators now? We don’t know, and we likely never will know.
But this letter did raise two questions:
1) Where were House Democrats during the regular session? They drafted a plan and presented an all-or-nothing offer to Republicans. Billy McCoy wouldn’t appoint conferees to negotiate with the Senate, and the only change they made was very minor, done behind closed doors and likely favored Democrats (more so than even the original map). And that leads to my second question…
2) Why now? The judges have recently ruled that all members must run under the 2002 lines. That is what is going to happen. Why would the Democrats want anything different? As the PR battle went on over who came out best from the ruling, why would the Democrats want to change anything if they were happy…or if they thought they ended up with a good deal?