Statehouse File: With Republicans’ hiring of national consultant, Indiana’s 2021 redistricting is looking a lot like 2011
ICYMI: “Harsh Words” Delivered During INGOP’s Gerrymandering Tour as Voters Expressed “Concerns” and Left Full of “Disappointment”
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today criticized Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Republican Party for lying to Hoosiers about the so-called “fair” process in the upcoming redistricting session at the Indiana Statehouse. According to a recent report in the Statehouse File, Indiana Republicans hired Washington, D.C. GOP consultant and insider – Jason Torchinsky – to help them gerrymander the upcoming legislative and Congressional maps in a way that will rig the system against voters and limit the future of Indiana’s democracy and overall opportunities for Hoosiers. The INGOP’s hire contradicts a promise made by Governor Holcomb that the entire redistricting process would be “fair” and “transparent” for the public.
Last time the Indiana Democrats checked, hiring a partisan consultant from Washington, D.C. does not demonstrate a “transparent” or “fair” process. However, the move once again proves to Hoosiers that the upcoming redistricting session will be decided behind closed doors and without public input. The Republicans’ gerrymandering tour from last weekend was nothing but a PR stunt and the make-believe events were conducted to be a talking point for future use.
Indiana has fallen behind the rest of the nation since the 2011 redistricting period. Since the last redistricting cycle, Republicans forced through “right to work” legislation and created a “work more for less” economy, Indiana’s public schools have been consistently defunded, and culture wars have unnecessarily crippled the state and tarnished Indiana’s once-proud mottos. This extreme partisanship by the INGOP is exactly why Democrats have gone on offense and plan to hold them accountable for creating a system that has harmed the future of Indiana and its families during their time with near-absolute power over the people.
SHOT: “I’m confident that we’ll have a transparent, open, public welcome, input welcome, and the process will be fair. I won’t sign anything that’s not constitutional.” – Governor Eric Holcomb, August 3, 2021
CHASER: “Indiana House Republicans have tapped the architect of the GOP’s national redistricting strategy to advise them as they redraw the state’s congressional and legislative maps—the latest sign that their playbook in 2021 will follow the one that in 2011 set the stage for a decade of overwhelming legislative control.
Jason Torchinsky is the senior advisor and general counsel to the National Republican Redistricting Trust, founded to coordinate the party’s efforts across the country. Torchinsky represents a related group called Fair Lines America, which opposes independent redistricting commissions.” […]
“Erin Wittern, spokesperson for the House Republican Caucus, said in response to written questions from The Indiana Citizen that Torchinsky would be working with the caucus on the new maps but did not expand on his role, what he would be paid or who would foot the bill.
Torchinsky declined to comment. He is a contributor to the conservative Federalist Society website; a partner with the Washington D.C.-area law firm Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak; and has vigorously fought Democratic efforts to challenge maps drawn by Republicans.”
“The involvement of a national party adviser in the state’s redistricting is one example of how Indiana Republicans are following the same strategy that resulted a decade ago in what have been called some of the nation’s most politically skewed state legislative and congressional districts.” […]
“No public hearings are planned for after the GOP maps are released, though there will be opportunities for Hoosiers to testify before the House and Senate elections committees as the maps move toward final adoption.” – Statehouse File, August 5, 2021