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AG’s Congressional Plan Betrays Texas Minority Voters
Key excerpt from Plaintiffs Advisory in opposition to AG’s Proposal
We understand that the Court indicated in its February 2nd order that, if the April 3 primary was to remain in place, “all parties” should submit an agreed interim map by today. That will not be happening. None of the parties to this submission has joined in or has any plans to join in any proposed agreement with the state, in the person of the Texas Attorney General, as to interim maps for the districting plans at issue in this dispute. Some have been contacted by the Office of the Texas Attorney General about discussing potential areas of agreement; others have not been contacted in that regard at all. In any event, no agreement has been reached, and none is foreseeable.
To see the entire brief, click here.
The congressional redistricting proposal announced earlier today continues Texas Republicans’ dishonest attack on voters. Even though minorities made up 80 percent of the new Texas population over the last decade and were solely responsible for Texas gaining four new congressional seats, the AG’s proposal likely will not result in any additional minority opportunity districts.
Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott is seeking cover for his cynical proposal by citing the support of one plaintiff group and opportunistic elected officials like Congressman Henry Cuellar. Henry Cuellar, of course, has a long history of betraying Latino voters and his constituents to appease high-level Republicans. During the 2001 and 2003 Texas redistricting battles, Cuellar aligned himself with Tom DeLay.
In response, prominent groups who oppose the AG’s plan filed a formal advisory with the San Antonio Federal Court earlier today. Among others, they include, the National Office of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the NAACP, the Gonzales Plaintiffs and the Quesda/Veasey Plaintiffs. A copy of their advisory to the Court can be seen here. The Mexican American Legislative Caucus also opposes the AG's plan. The MALC statement can be seen here.
Under the current congressional plan, minority voters have the opportunity to elect their candidate of choice in 11 of 32 districts, or 34.4 percent. Under the AG’s proposed interim plan, the number is likely reduced to only 11 of 36 districts, which is only 30.5 percent. Abbott's proposal is another example of Texas Republican leaders choosing to attack and reduce the voting strength of Texas Hispanics and African Americans rather than treating the communities with respect and simply working to earn their votes.
From the beginning, the AG has refused to negotiate with all parties and now is playing fast and loose with press statements purporting to have more support than actually exists.
After spending what is likely millions of taxpayer dollars on expensive outside legal counsel, and after losing key rulings before two federal courts, the Attorney General still refuses to agree to discuss fair plans. The supposed compromise map is no more than a slightly tweaked version of the state’s illegal legislatively-enacted map. The Lone Star Project-supported plaintiffs will continue to pursue action in the San Antonio and DC District courts to ensure that the voting rights of Texas voters are upheld.
AG’s Plan Likely Gives Anglo Republicans Control of All Four Additional Texas Seats
In the Districts below, Hispanic and/or African American voters reliably elected their candidate of choice in most elections in 2008 and 2010 and qualify as minority ability-to-elect districts. As is evident, the AG’s plan has a net increase of zero new minority opportunity districts.
AG’s Proposed Plan