The bill in issue is House Bill 706. While it is styled as creating an independent redistricting commission, if you read the bill, you will see that is a misnomer. It is a Democrat redistricting commission.
Let’s begin with the composition of the commission. The bill provides for 15 members split equally between the largest political party, the second largest political party, and undeclared voters. Here is the actual composition of the New Hampshire electorate from the Secretary of State’s website:
So if we were to base the commission based on the actual breakdown, there would be four Democrats, five Republicans and six Undeclared on the commission. Advantage Democrats.
It gets worse. HB 706 is based on and intended to drive identity politics, the pernicious notion that we should not be regarded as individuals but rather regarded merely as components of a group or groups based on our skin color, or country of origin or other characteristics we have no control over and that some groups should be favored over other groups.
HB 706 further provides that “the secretary of state shall, to the extent practicable, achieve racial, ethnic, and gender diversity within the applicant pool, reflective of the state’s diversity.” [ 662-B:3, II.(a) ]. In other words, HB 706 establishes soft quotas.
The reason for these soft quotas is that part of the commission’s charge is to draw districts based on identity politics: “Districts shall provide racial minorities and language minorities with an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and shall not diminish their ability to elect candidates of choice, whether alone or in coalition with others.” [ 662-B:6 I(c) ]
Given that 90 percent of African-Americans voted Democrat in the 2018 midterm and 70 percent of Hispanics voted Democrat, it obviously favors Democrats to draw districts that allow African-Americans and Hispanics to “elect candidates of their choice.”
It is also wrong and un-American, no matter which Party it favors.
What the hell is wrong with the GOP House Representatives on the Election Law Committee? We should not be divvying Americans up by race and ethnicity, as if we are a bunch of competing tribes. That is what the Democrat Party is all about. It is the antithesis of what the Republican Party is all about. We see and judge people as individuals not as members of this group or that group.
This so-called “independent redistricting commission” is obviously intended to help Democrats and hurt Republicans. This November, 2018 interview from NPR is instructive:
LI: Well, it’s favored Democrats recently. But the maps are drawn – and you can measure this. If Republicans start to do better, if they figure out how to message to voters, if they start to figure out how to win votes from people of color or for younger voters, they will do better on these maps. And that’s what democracy should look like. Your party should be able to compete for more seats by winning more votes.
In other words, the philosophy behind these so-called independent redistricting commissions is the Democrat philosophy, that voters should not be regarded as individuals, but as members of a group or groups. Needless to say, drawing voting lines intended to force politicians to wage identity politics is going to favor Democrats.
Shame on every “Republican” on Election Law who voted for HB 706. And to any of them who actually knows what is in HB 706 and nonetheless believes it is a good bill, I say stop calling yourself Republican. You are not.