Doggett Responds to Congressional Redistricting Maps

Congressman says he'll move if necessary

Congressman Lloyd Doggett (left) in a press conference on redistricting earlier this year, showing a map of the 2003 gerrymander
Congressman Lloyd Doggett (left) in a press conference on redistricting earlier this year, showing a map of the 2003 gerrymander (photo by Lee Nichols)

I just got off the phone with Austin Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who once again is being targeted by the redistricting efforts of Texas Republicans. The latest GOP proposal would make Doggett's Dist. 25 heavily Republican. Asked if he's willing to move to a more favorable district, Doggett replied, "I’m ready to live in a Winnebago if that’s what it takes."

The new maps, if approved by the Legislature, would split Travis County five ways (see earlier post). The rest of the interview:

"But I think it’s still a little early. This map is a long way from reality. Much of its design is to convince people there’s nothing we can do about it, and there still is.

"I think many people have the reaction they had to Tom DeLay [the former U.S. Majority leader that led the 2003 redistricting], that this map is ridiculous, or this map is crazy. I think it’s cunning and malicious, but it’s definitely not crazy. They have a well-conceived scheme to impose [Republican] rule on our county, and we need people speaking out first at the hearings, and there will be litigation, and then being ready to go for whatever comes.

"There definitely will be litigation. This map differs only by degree from what Lamar Smith and the Republicans were doing [in previous, secret proposals]. He had a dagger he plunged right into the heart of our community and now they’re just twisting and turning it to cut us up one more way. They even split Hays County into three pieces. It’s more of the same, though a more vicious attack perhaps, in that it’s really five crooked congressional districts.

"Whether the committee will make any adjustment remains to be seen, but that does not reduce the need for people to be out making a strong record against this plan, nor does it mean these are the districts that we ultimately will have to run in."

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