Jan 12 2012

Whose District is it Anyway?

Posted by Steve Ross in State Politics

An interesting exchange on the floor of the Tennessee State House today. Democrats introduced a number of amendments to the House Redistricting plan, all of which were placed on the table by the Republican majority; effectively killed.

The final amendment was proposed by Jeanne Richardson. The amendment would have shifted 6 precincts into the new district she and Rep. Antonio Parkinson have been drawn into.

By all accounts, this amendment would have been tabled by the Republicans as well, but that’s not exactly how it worked out.

Here’s the floor debate.


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You’ll note, at the end of the video Minority Leader Fitzhugh rightly tried to go into caucus to talk this out. It’s not really good form to send a fellow caucus member’s amendment to the table, especially when its likely to be tabled by the opposing side in the first place.

I understand the emotional nature of the redistricting process, but that shouldn’t trump the desire to maintain the long-term working relationship between caucus members. Rep. Parkinson may find he needs a friendly vote in the future that should be a gimmie, but might not be thanks to this action.

Ed. Note: No one has mentioned anything about withholding votes or not supporting someone’s legislation or anything like that. This is based on what I’ve observed from years of watching the legislative process across Federal, State and Local governments. Legislators have long memories and just like regular people, can hold grudges. Contrary to popular belief, they are only human.