June 6, 2011

The Fox Designing the Hen House

Justin Katz

Redistricting must occur, I suppose, and a process must obviously be in place to handle it, but Rhode Island's proposed process doesn't even have much of a pretense of different voices and token opposition:

House Bill 6096, which now goes to the House floor, places the state's once-each-decade redistricting process in the hands of an 18-member commission, with two-thirds of the seats going to state lawmakers and six to “members of the general public."

The public members would be chosen by the same people who also would choose the most of the lawmakers — House Speaker Gordon D. Fox and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed.

If one were writing a fictional story about corrupt government, using Rhode Island as a model would make everything seem too overdrawn. When Common Cause Rhode Island Executive Director John Marion testified that "Rhode Island has arguably the most partisan process," House Finance Committee Chairman Heliio Melo "interrupted and suggested that Marion raise his concerns with the commission, once it is formed." In other words, Marion should bring his concerns to the biased, unaccountable group once it had been formed.

Such is corruption in Rhode Island: structural and rotten to its core.

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"Helio Melo interrupted and suggested that Marion raise his concerns with the commission, once it is formed."

Kind of like genius Pelosi with HusseinCare. "We have to pass the bill so we can see what is in it". There has never been a time in our history that has seen such detatched political elitistm and corruption. It is clear and on display daily. RI's only hope (like the USA) is the Tea Party whose roots lie in our founding fathers. The politicians of our day have done a 180 turnabout. Our money exists for their personal interest. We are the little people who do not know any better. Their mantra: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help......myself to anything I can get my hands on."

Posted by: ANTHONY at June 6, 2011 2:26 PM

About the only fun thing from this whole gerrymandering, umm, I mean redistricting process that they do is to watch the infighting that goes on.

This is actually what got me to start paying attention to politics ten years ago when the lying piece of crap Charlene Lima cried about her new district and how it was unfair to her and she was targeted because she was a woman. So changes were made and instead, two other female state reps' districts were affected, helping Lima. I remember them being irate because I had conversations with them about it. It wasn't Lima being upset about the balance of women in the State House as she originally cried about, it was all about her. What a piece of crap.

Posted by: Patrick at June 6, 2011 3:50 PM

Is it too much to hope that the Fox in this hen house would at least ruffle some feathers?

Posted by: John at June 6, 2011 5:46 PM

How is this done in "two-party" states?

Posted by: brassband at June 7, 2011 10:52 AM
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