Democrat From Kentucky

Democrat from Kentucky
We promote fair and honest political discussion from all sides of the ideological spectrum While my own opinions and my contributors tend toward a more progressive view, that's not always the case. I ask people to comment freely and openly to promote fair discourse.
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Bluegrass Report Trying To Draft Ken Lucas
North Carolina to Score 1,000th U.S. Execution
Ohio's Gov. Taft Has Virtually No Approval Rating
EU Wants Info On CIA Prisons
Diebold Is Out of North Carolina
Draft Ken Lucas Movement Gathers Steam
Hoder Denied Entry Into The U.S.
Miami University hit For Domestic Partner Benefits...
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Va. AG Recount


Texas Redistricting Illegal? Friday, December 02, 2005

Staffers at the Justice Dept. thought so. This was the infamous redistricting plan led by Tom Delay that chased Texas state Democrats out of the state on mulitple occasions. This is the one tied to the indictments Tom Delay is now facing. It seems the DOJ staffers thought the law violated the Voting Rights Act.

A previously undisclosed memo signed by six lawyers and two analysts suggested the staffers questioned the legality of the thing. Despite their opinions, senior officials signed off on the plan and it went through.

A bit of background: Most states don't need to undergo DOJ approval for their redistricting plans. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 said few select states, like Texas, have history of redistricting that is somewhat biased against minorities. Because of their history, the DOJ must approve all those redistricting plans. The Washington Post

The memo, unanimously endorsed by six lawyers and two analysts in the department's voting section, said the redistricting plan illegally diluted black and Hispanic voting power in two congressional districts. It also said the plan eliminated several other districts in which minorities had a substantial, though not necessarily decisive, influence in elections.

"The State of Texas has not met its burden in showing that the proposed congressional redistricting plan does not have a discriminatory effect," the memo concluded.

The story goes on to discuss accusations charging the plan diluted the strength of minority voters by eliminating the district of one rep who had high marks from minorities vs. the Republican who had minorities diluted to strengthen his position.

Naturally the Republicans are yelling it was fair because the DOJ signed off on it...sort of. There's probably enough new evidence, based on this 73-page memo from dated Dec. 12th, 2003. But based on the current fact Republicans control the DOJ, it probably won't be investigated. It'll be up to either the AG of Texas or individual citizens to bring this one up. Hopefully groups will move in to start the war.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement:

"The news that the political cronies President Bush installed at the Justice Department overruled the objections of the Department's civil rights experts to push through Tom DeLay's Texas redistricting plan is the latest example of President Bush's 'say one thing, do another' approach to promoting civil rights. While giving lip service to promoting equal rights and protections under the law, the Bush Administration has systematically undercut those same protections.

"The right to vote is the most fundamental, basic right we enjoy as American citizens, and one of our government's most important responsibilities is to do everything in its power to protect the ability of every American to exercise that right. Sadly, the Bush Administration has failed to live up to this responsibility.

"This incident is also the latest evidence that fostering the culture of corruption the Bush Administration, Tom DeLay and their cronies have brought to Washington trumps all other concerns -- even our nation's most cherished and fundamental civil rights protections.

"Together, America can do better. Americans deserve a government as good as its people. Instead of sidestepping the law to undermine the rights of citizens, President Bush and the Republicans in Washington should join Democrats in bringing accountability back to government, and making government work for all Americans."

Thursday was marked as "Blog Against Racism" day and I guess I'm a little late. As a cynical friend once put it, "what hate people based on their skin color or ethnicity? There are too many reasons to hate them on an individual basis." I'd like to say I'm not a racist but many would argue that I can't help but be. I disagree with that.

In most cases, people have problems with things that are different than they are. They carry it to extremes. You could be too short, overweight, red hair, have big feet, have acne and the list goes on. As long as people look different, some type of prejudice will exist. As long as people think differently, prejudice will exist.

I've had an example in my family I will share. My sister is married to a man from Gabon in Africa. His first language was French. Many members of my family had a problem with it. Old social norms die hard. My grandfather took her picture down for a time before he died. My grandmother had problems although not quite as negative. Other's did too. My mother had problems but kept them quiet because she tried hard to overcome her own prejudices for her daughter and she did mostly. Unfortunately it's not ending well because a lot of factors worked against them. I decided though, when they got married, that I'd treat him as family as did my mother and others. I've not regretted it. The color of the skin doesn't matter so much to me. In the end, it's about character, of which we're all one.

It's just that in our society, people focus too much on trying to work factors they can't control instead of concentrating on ones they can.

posted by Stithmeister @ 9:35 PM

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Location: Harrodsburg, Kentucky, United States

I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.

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