Redistricting Updates | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Redistricting Updates


There has been some movement on the redistricting issue in Kentucky these past few days.  Here's a quick update to fill in some of the broad details. 

Republican Minority Leader Jeff Hoover filed an injunction in Franklin Circuit Court to push back the filing deadline in light of the possibly illegal and partisan redistricting.  Senator Kathy Stein joined the lawsuit, then Judge Phillip Shepherd heard the case earlier today and said that he will make a decision before the end of the day tomorrow... which is also the (tentative) deadline to file for office.

In other news, Kentucky House an Senate members have still been unable to agree on a plan for Congressional redistricting which will move back the filing deadline, at least for those offices.  In any event, this casts substantial doubt on Governor Steve Beshear's claim that he was only signing the state house and senate redistricting into law because the impending and at the time apparently immovable deadline was hanging over his head. 

In other news, several legislators have filed separate legislation to make the redistricting process less partisan, more transparent, and more reasonable than it has been this year. 

And finally, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Council has stepped forward with a resolution expressing concern with the redistricting and the loss of Lexington senator Kathy Stein.  A resolution has no legal weight, but it matters.  During our first rally in Lexington on this issue, our primary action was to ask people to contact the mayor and city council to do just this, so they deserve our kudos. 

Here are some good quotes from the Herald-Leader article

Councilman Jay McChord said he was "sick and tired of Lexington looking weak, acting weak" at the state level. "If they don't like it up there, so be it. Maybe it is time to send somebody else up there," he said.

Councilman Chris Ford said when an action by Frankfort legislators "harms the citizens of Fayette County, we should stand up and speak."

"This is classic gerrymandering," said council member Julian Beard. "I don't think we should duck our head and go quietly into the night."

Council Members K.C. Crosby, Bill Farmer, and  Ed Lane voted against the resolution and Council Member Diane Lawless was not present for the vote.  All 11 other council members voted yes in favor of the resolution. 

If you're a Lexington resident, please contact your city council member and thank them for voting yes if they did, or express concern if they voted no.  Remember that Vice Mayor Linda Gorton, and Council At-Large members Steve Kay and Chuck Ellinger all represent everyone in Lexington.  So they're your council members too.


2/1/12 Update - Judge delays filing deadline for state legislative candidates to Feb 7th.   This creates space for the Franklin Circuit court to take further action by that time, possibly declaring the redistricting to be illegal and asking the legislature to try again or taking some other action to intervene.  We'll know more by the end of the day on Feb 7th.    

2/2/12 Update - House, Senate appear close on congressional redistricting plan.  There has been some movement on the Congressional redistricting plan too.  Note that this is separate from the state legislature plan at issue above.  We're still waiting for the Franklin Circuit Court ruling by Feb 7th on that one.  In the mean time, you can take a moment to write a letter to the editor to let your community know how you feel about these partisan redistricting plans.

2/6/12 Update - Judge says he will rule in a day or two on legislative redistricting.  We might know something tomorrow or the filing deadline might get pushed back a little more. 

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