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Comments about ‘Drawing boundaries: How much influence will public have on redistricting process?’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 7 2011 12:43 a.m. MDT

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one old man
Ogden, UT

Redistricting, will the public be heard?

No.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The basic requirement is "one man one vote" so as long as all of Utah's legal residents are assigned in equal numbers to four different districts, the rest is all partisan nonsense.

No one will be happy with whatever is adopted. Liberals would complain regardless. Some Republicans will complain if the areas inhabited mainly by Democrats are concentrated in one district, and others will complain if they are divided among all four districts.

In some states with decreasing numbers of seats in Congress, partisan goals may result in some of the smaller party's seats being redesigned out of existence, but Utah is gaining a seat, so no real mischief opportunities exist.

I trust the Legislators to try to do a fair and reasonable job designing the districts.

Once the districts are drawn, then candidates can try to sell their ideas. And, if they lose, the fault will lie with the ideas they are selling, not the district they find themselves in.

owlmaster2
Kaysville, UT

Our Republican leaders know exactly where the boundaries will be. No matter how many hearings, no matter what you say they will put the boundaries where they can save or gain seats. Anyone that thinks otherwise is either uninformed or a part of the problem.

No, the public will not be listened to. They may be heard but that ends there.

Christine
Orem, UT

The Utah Republican lawmakers are "wolves in sheep's clothing" when it comes to redistricting.

Example: "A decade ago, Utah attracted national criticism for what was seen as an attempt to ensure a Democrat couldnt win the 2nd District by stretching it from Salt Lake through some of the most conservative areas of the state." This time around they will do the same thing.

"Over the last few decades, however, what has changed are the rules organizing American politics. They now encourage small interest groups - including ideologically charged ones - to capture major political parties as well as Congress itself. Call it ' political narrowcasting". (Fareed Zakaria, CNN)

Example: "Redistricting has created safe seats so that for most House members, their only concern is a challenge from the right for Republicans and the left for Democrats. The incentive is to pander to the base, not the center." (Fareed Zakaria, CNN)

The incentive is reelection instead of doing what's best for the state and the country.

Laura M. Warburton
Huntsville, UT

"But despite the unprecedented level of public involvement and so many plans already to choose from there's still concern among some that Utah will end up with a redistricting plan largely shaped behind closed doors to benefit the politicians in power."

To me, this incites controversy. Basically sells papers. What a shame. This committee has done closer to 20 public meetings; begged people to come out and the numbers have been mostly dismal if not embarrassing especially given the huge outcry over GRAMA - which was also trumped up by an angry media force.

So, my question is why don't we start paying a little more attention to what the committee did right? Why don't we pay a little more attention to what the Legislature does well? It seems anger sells but are we not better than that? We have our right to find fault and to correct it. Actually, an obligation to do so, but what about our obligation to find what is right and good?

This committee gave up a good portion of their summer to travel the state to meet with citizens who didn't show up.

They are the experts at this point. Are you?

Hellooo
Salt Lake City, UT

The public has been heard, and now decision must be made. No matter what the districts finally are, they will be criticized as being from behind closed doors, unfair and favoring the majority party. Of course, that rehtoric will be led by the elites, pick-up by the minority party, because in the former's case they want more power and in the latter's case they want to keep their minority ideals and still get someone elected.

owlmaster2
Kaysville, UT

Hearings, hearings, herrings. Yes, I know it says herrings. Red herrings.

If you have ever attended a hearing held by our current "leaders" you know that if you speak against their plan or idea you are held to the exact time limit and stand a good chance of being cut off for being "off topic".

All these hearings for redistricting and on GRAMA were nothing more than a Red Herring to say look, we had hearings and no one came. After you attend a few of these herrings you know it's a total waste of time.

If you are a proponent, of course you think it's an amazing experience and you'll love every moment of being stroked and lead like a lamb to the slaughter.

County Resident
Kearns, UT

Didn't know they had republican and democratic districts. I hope I live in the correct one? Does that mean if I am from the "other" party than my Rep or Sen that I am not represented? Is there any wonder why Utah's is among the lowest in the nation in voter turnout?

Kearns_Dad
Kearns, UT

"What the public really wants, Waddoups said, is for the boundaries to be determined by the lawmakers they elected and trust."

I didn't elect you and I don't trust any of you (elected legislature) to make the best decision for us (the people)...only for you.

Furry1993
Somewhere in Utah, UT

Sorry, Waddoups, I don't trust you and I don't trust the legislature. I saw the gerrymandering done in 2000, and expect the same this time around. I've seen how the legislature acted with HB477, and what they're talkign about doing with school vouchers (even after the people of the state said NO by a very convincing margin). We need to have the redistricting done by an independent bipartisan committee (and I mean equal numbers from both parties). The redistricting in 2000 was abominable; I see no reason to expect anything different this time thanks to Waddopus and the people from the legislature who will be creating district boundaries.

21stCenturySLC
Salt Lake City, UT

Waddoups is incorrect in stating that the public comments at the field meetings across the state were "repetitive", like a "broken record" made by the same people over and over again.An analysis of the minutes from the public meetings (available on www.le.Utah.gov) does NOT support his claim. The comments were the many DIFFERENT individuals that made comments SUPPORTING the donut hole type of map that keep SLC and SL County from being split 4 ways.

There are four community groups that have been active in lobbying for a fair and transparent redistricting process this summer:
Represent Me Utah, Alliance for a Better Utah, Utah Citizens Coalition, and the League of Women Voters. Representatives from these groups attended the majority of the public meeting to voice their opinions, respond to legislators comments and various map proposals, and keep the message alive that Utah voters wanted a fair, transparent, and non partisan redistricting process in 2011, unlike the 2001 process which was labeled by national media as a very bad example of gerrymandering.

ST
Layton, UT

"What the public really wants, Waddoups said, is for the boundaries to be determined by the lawmakers they elected and trust."

I agree with Waddoups ... I don't have time or energy to worry about this. And I do know and trust my rep.

If some gerrymandering happens- that's life in politics. All of the other states do it ... and if the Democrats in Utah were in power, they'd do the same thing!

21stCenturySLC
Salt Lake City, UT

I love comments like the previous poster that say " I don't have time" and 'who care's everybody's doing it, ie, gerrymandering".

Hope you're not using this same language in parenting or your job. Poor excuses for allowing bad things to continue happening and poor role modeling for young people.

Redistricting may not be high up your list of important things, and that's great that you trust your rep. But there are minority groups in our state whom do not necessarily feel represented by their rep or the majority party and this is an important issue for them.

Hope you never find yourself in a position of lobbying for something that really matters to you and having others say "Who cares, we've always done it this way" or "Everybody cheats a little, just look the other way".

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

Mr. Waddoups: With respect to your statement about the public wanting the elected (and trusted?) representatives to draw the boundaries I only have this to say: HB477.

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