It looks like the verdict from congressional redistricting negotiations may be a foregone conclusion. Steve Rothman (D) will likely face off against Scott Garrett (R) next fall. There’s a thorough article on the current state of play at NJ Spotlight.
And the sick part? Political correctness has influenced our laws to point where we were left with few viable alternatives (via Mark J. Magyar):
While the commission theoretically could combine any two of the state’s 13 districts, population figures and U.S. Voting Rights Act protections for minority representatives effectively forced the commission to consider only seven districts for consolidation.
[…] the district that needs to add the most voters is the urban 10th District, which includes most of Newark and other Essex County cities and is represented by Democratic Rep. Donald Payne, the state’s only African-American congressman. The 10th needs to add 98,315 voters, and the Hudson-dominated 13th District, represented by Democratic Rep. Albio Sires, the state’s only Hispanic congressman, needs to add 47,693 more.
The seats of Payne and Sires are effectively protected by the Voting Rights Act, and because their districts are surrounded by the Democratic 9th, 8th and 6th Districts, the only place for them to get the 148,000 voters they need is to take them away from fellow Democrats, pushing the districts of Rothman, Pascrell, and possibly Pallone further west to pick up suburban towns with more Republican voters.”
Because, you know, all “minorities” think and act exactly alike based on the respective color of their skin… right?
That’s certainly not how I was raised to think, Save Jerseyans, but unfortunately for democracy most politicians do tend to think alike. They’re cynical blowhards; they treat people in terms of interest groups and “voting demographics” instead of free-thinking individuals capable of independent thought. It’s also an example of self-reinforcing bigotry that is cheapening our once-great American political process. New Jersey is ground zero.
We put up with the same crap during legislative redistricting, too. Districts that resembled partially-decapitated serpents were sheltered to protect useless incumbents or an academic conception of “ideal diversity.” The results were painfully predictable to anyone paying attention: absolutely zero change in the legislature’s partisan and ideological composition despite overwhelming popular support for pro-taxpayer reform.
The end result of all this foolishness is the perpetual reelection of idiots who, ironically, adopt policies directly tied to our slow-growth population problem and reduced representation in the halls of Congress.
It’s high time for one of our remaining serious politicians to champion a new system. This isn’t working.