It’s the kind of inside baseball political battle that cures most people’s insomnia — the decennial redrawing of NJ’s legislative districts. But the stakes couldn’t be higher because shifting some lines on a map can have far-reaching consequences for the future of our state. Who’s in, and who’s not; which towns are sliced and diced, and which ones remain intact.
The Democrats “won” this battle. Purportedly impartial mediator Alan Rosenthal facilitated the charade of soliciting input from far and wide and then did exactly what he did last time, endorse the map drawn by the Democratic Party. The map they gerrymandered to engender maximum benefits to entrenched Democrat politicians is now in effect.
Why? Because he favors “continuity of representation.” Democrats are currently in the majority so Democrats should retain the majority. A majority I might add they continued courtesy of Rosenthal’s last redistricting map from the year 2000, and if memory serves, the one before that too.
Funny how the “impartial” mediator always seems to align with the same side.
Not that the Republican’s map was any better. It’s a hodge-podge of wavy lines which pretend to enhance minority clout by clumping hispanics together as tightly as possible. And naturally it favors GOP incumbents.
Meanwhile Rosenthal didn’t give 5 seconds of consideration to The People’s Map, the only map drawn according to strict state constitutional principles. I said this map was so sensible there was zero chance Rosenthal would adopt it, and I was right.
The People’s Map didn’t care which politicians were favored and which weren’t.
That of course Just Wouldn’t Do. So Rosenthal consulted his crystal ball and reliably pulled the lever for the Democrats. I suppose he’s quite pleased with himself. “Continuity of representation” is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind, right?