Mark Hellman: GOP’s stacked deck

November 17, 2012 

GOP’s stacked deck

The presidential election showed again that North Carolina is a 50-50 state. The cumulative total of the last two presidential races: Democrat Barack Obama 49.5 percent, Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney 50.5 percent.

Also, the last four U.S. Senate races: Democratic candidates 48 percent, Republican candidates 50 percent. So how do Republicans win at least nine of our 13 U.S. House seats (and possibly 10 of 13 when a recount is done)? Extreme partisan gerrymandering, pure and simple, by a Republican-controlled General Assembly that has also entrenched itself using the same techniques.

To those who just muttered, “Both sides do it”: No, they don’t. The Democratic-drawn map of 2001 produced congressional delegations that were usually split 7-6, just as you would expect in a 50-50 state. The courts must overturn the present congressional map as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, we are stuck with Republican over-representation in the U.S. House for the next two years, just as President Obama tries to negotiate a fair resolution of the nation’s fiscal problems. Expect obstructionism from Speaker John Boehner’s well-insulated Republican majority. And expect to suffer from it regardless of your party.

Mark Hellman

Durham

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