Redistricting article misleading

To the editor:

The 8-20-20 redistricting commission article was misleading and biased. The Republicans have opposed the redistricting proposal from the beginning.

The trio of Ed McBroom, Beau LaFave and Greg Markkanen favored the former method of redrawing voting district lines, because as the majority party, the Republicans controlled how the lines were drawn. In 2018, voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional change which puts redistricting responsibilities in the hands of the citizens redistricting commission.

The Republican trio hypocritically attacked the selection process by complaining about no U.P. representation on the commission. They criticized the Democratic Senate Minority Leader for using his constitutional prerogative to strike five semi-finalists from the applicant pool, two of whom were from the U.P. The Republican trio knew the rules; Republicans exercised their constitutional rights, too, to strike applicants.

It’s a disservice to Upper Michigan residents to be characterized by the Republican trio as victims of downstate Democrats and complaining that the U.P. is being demeaned by Lower Michigan when they visit here as tourists. What are they talking about? We are not victims, and we want to be a tourist destination.

There were 226 U.P. applicants in the pool of 9367 applicants. The 13 randomly selected commission members are from ten counties. With 83 counties statewide, 73 counties do not have someone on the commission.

I hope that their senators and representatives aren’t telling them that they are victims of someone or something as a result of having a citizen’s redistricting commission, a fair and representative process. The Gazette should have done a better job of making a distinction between facts and shameless hypocrisy. Go to www.redistrictingmichigan.gov for more facts and information.


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