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Readers may have noted my interest with the darkly arcane political game called re-districting or as it’s better known by nasty cynical voters – gerrymandering.  I dealt with a couple of posts “Redistricting, Gerrymandering and the American Democratic Deficit” and “The Pennultimate Run an update” and I would suggest that you point yourselves to a Website and Facebook page called “Running against Redistricting” both of which are hugely detailed and authorative.

But I have come across a great article written by Olga Pierce, Jeff Larson and Lois Beckett which started out at Propublica and then was copied over at motherjones

So I will only point out the highlights and leave you to nip over and enjoy the whole piece at your leisure.

Various groups are establishing themselves in the anticipation of the present round of redrawing the political districts right across America.  They purport to be selfless and dedicated to Democracy. They go by such names as “Fair Districts Mass” or “Protect your vote” and “The Centre for a Better New Jersey”.  They all state the same righteous goal that everyone has a vote.

The Propublica investigation finds that a number of these groups are being bankrolled by corporations, unions and special interests to improve their political allies and master’s stakes.

There is real money here. It gives an opportunity to influence at state level and in congress for not a single year but right through a decade. It allows an incumbent a virtually guaranteed seat and turns entire districts into rotten boroughs.

But its not cheap to twist the system, and this is where those special interest groups come in.  They provide cash, consultants and lobbyists.  They even fight the inevitable court cases.

In Minnesota the Republican’s legal efforts are financed through a group called “Minnesotans for a Fair Redistricting” which sounds independent but is tied to the “Freedom Foundation of Minnesota” (I know it sounds a bit like that sketch in Life of Brian but hold with it!).  Freedom Foundation is linked to Koch brothers who spend millions on conservative causes.

Not that the Democrats are innocent either.

This article is a must read for all students of the Constitution or Politics 1:01

I cannot recommend it enough.

Copyright David Macadam 2011

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