An opposition provincial official in a hotly contested election has threatened to arrest international election observers monitoring for fraud and voter intimidation. In an area with a rich history of secessionist fervor, ballot box stuffing, and repeated infringements on the voting rights and representation of ethnic minorities, this pronouncement is certainly controversial. Rogue vigilantes, organized in this province, are expected to deploy to polling sites across the nation, causing alarm. It is not a chaotic contest in a fledgling democracy. It is Texas, the United States. Previously. [more inside]
The Supreme Court rules that state legislatures may redistrict at any time, while not harming minorities. The ruling is heavily influenced by Vieth v. Jubelirer, a Scalia opinion based on the premise that there is no objective way to draw a district (How the Census Bureau is trying to help make one). This ends a saga including amid-decade redistricting and subsequent rebellion in the Texas Statehouse.
A memo from the Department of Justice in Texas' voting division reveals that, back in 2003 during the Texas GOP's redistricting push, the division unanimously agreed that the redistricting plan sponsored by the state GOP and Rep. Tom DeLay was illegal under the Voting Rights Act. The plan was pushed through anyway, being the most effective in securing additional House seats for the GOP.
"DeLay is doing everything moral, legal and ethical to increase the Republican majority and advance conservative ideas," says his spokesman, Stuart Roy. Heck, we already know that Tom DeLay loves the children enough to start a charitable fund to help pay for "late-night convention parties, a luxury suite during President Bush's speech at Madison Square Garden and yacht cruises" during the 2004 GOP convention (as well as the children, of course). Now, he's connected (via an email) to Enron, asking them for extra money in order to help fund the already-notorious redistricting in Texas. When will enough be enough?
Texas Rangers are facing a unique task. They have been sent to arrest over 50 Democrats and drag them back to Austin, TX. The problem: They've fled Texas to 'hide' in Oklahoma. The reason why they left the state? To stop a quorum on Congressional Redistricting.