The two Democratic members of the state Board of Apportionment — Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will control legislative redistricting. That means it will be done to the party's advantage, not to the partisan desires of Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin. (That is it will be unless the two Democrats roll over to Republicans and some internal Democratic disputes for a plan that doesn't help Democrats much, as was the case in the congressional redistricting debate.)
Naturally, the Republican Party is already whining that the fix is in. Somebody, please, save this news release for 10 years from now. If the Republicans are in power, it will be hypocrisy exhibit No. 1.
Remember this complaint follows adoption of congressional redistricting that enjoyed broad Republican support.
GOP NEWS RELEASE
Little Rock, Ark. — Following the conclusion of contentious federal redistricting battle, today the State Republican Party called on the Board of Apportionment to erase partisanship and public distrust by conducting a fair and transparent reapportionment process when redrawing districts for 135 state offices.
“The Board of Apportionment has an opportunity to prove to the people of Arkansas that the redistricting process can be fair,” State GOP Executive Director Chase Dugger said. “Irresponsible and partisan congressional proposals like the ‘Fayetteville Finger’ left Arkansans disenchanted with the redistricting process. The people of this state deserve Board members willing to reject partisan games and stand up for common sense.”
When speaking of the reapportionment process, Governor Mike Beebe said it’s the Board’s job to “make sure that communities of interest and the best people possible are here.”
“The Board of Apportionment should not try to undo through partisan games what the people of Arkansas decided at the ballot box,” Dugger said. “The reapportionment process should abide by the following guidelines:
Districts should respect the concept of “one man, one vote,” with a low variance of one percent.
Geographical boundaries should make sense and avoid gerrymanders like the “Fayetteville Finger.”
The process should be conducted in a fair, non-partisan manner.
The process should be open and transparent for all Arkansans.
“In no way should a three-person Board decide what’s best for our communities,” Dugger said. “The redistricting process is about the people of Arkansas, not its politicians.”