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Oregon Redistricting Plan Raises Some Skepticism

Bryan Buckalew
06/09/2011

TRANSCRIPT

SALEM, Ore. - Oregonians will get a chance to weigh in for the first time Thursday on a new plan to redraw Oregon's legislative districts. In Salem the bipartisan agreement has raised some eyebrows.

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Any compromise requires certain deals. Republicans and Democrats on Oregon's redistricting committee gave up many of the more dramatic boundary changes to make sure a joint proposal can pass the legislature.

The plan doesn't toss any incumbents into the same district. And that's prompted at least one watchdog group to take a closer look.

Janice Thompson is executive director of Common Cause Oregon. She says her group is on the lookout for what she calls "sweetheart gerrymandering."

Janice Thompson: "Sweetheart gerrymandering is when the two political parties sit down, typically behind closed doors, and draw maps basically dividing up, 'you get this district, we'll get that district'"

But Thompson says she doesn't suspect any egregious cases of gerrymandering. On the whole, she says she's happy with the redistricting process.

Still, Thompson says it's essential that lawmakers put redistricting criteria in front of political agendas.

On the Web:

House plan:

http://www.leg.state.or.us/redistricting/mapFiles/State_Legislative_Proposals_House_Plan_June_7.pdf

Senate plan:

http://www.leg.state.or.us/redistricting/mapFiles/State%20Legislative_Proposals_Senate_Plan_June_7.pdf

Redistricting basics:

http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=6549765

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Source: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=137070362&ft=nprml&f=137070362

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