Monday, November 14, 2011

Lame Duck Indianapolis Council Republicans May Try To Redistrict Before Democrats Take Over

The Indianapolis Star reports that Republicans may try to redistrict the Council before the Democrats take control on January 1st:
City-County Council Republicans, with seven weeks to go before they hand off control to a new Democratic majority, say they have no plans for an aggressive lame-duck session -- except, that is, on one particularly hot-button issue.

The GOP leadership plans to press forward on redrawing council district boundaries.


Democrats, stuck in the minority until Jan. 1, would prefer that Republicans hold off on redistricting.

If the GOP's 15-member majority approves a new council district map in coming weeks -- something Vaughn says hasn't been decided -- Democrats could simply draw new boundaries once they take power.

New boundaries for the 25 council districts -- four at-large seats are elected countywide -- will take into account 2010 census data.


But there's a complication for Democrats: The new map approved by the council -- whether under Republican or Democratic control -- will need Ballard's sign-off, giving Republicans a voice no matter what.
Let me restate.    If the Republicans can pass a redistricting plan before the end of the year - which it is not 100% certain it is legal to do so - then any future redistricting plan passed by the new Democratic majority could simply be vetoed by the Republican Mayor, leaving the GOP plan in place.

Such a move by the lame duck Republicans and Mayor Ballard would likely create acrimony between the Republican Mayor and Democratic majority council that could lay the seeds for four years of political stalemate.   A smart politician might choose to avoid such a confrontational approach to start off on the new bipartisan reality of Indianapolis government.  But given Ballard's previous disinterest in working with Democrats (council Democrats report that the Mayor won't even talk to them), this is a possible outcome of such a redistricting battle.


artfuggins said...

This sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen if the GOP decides to ignore the law and redistrict before Jan of 2012!

Had Enough Indy? said...

The article did mention that Vaughn wasn't sure if the Rs would proceed with the redistricting.