The only people playing politics with Iowa’s redistricting process and the maps are Iowa Democrats.
Both times legislative maps have been released this fall, House and Senate Democrat leaders have actually endorsed passing the maps BEFORE they were even released for the public to view. (notice the date)
Approve the maps before you’ve even seen them?! Before Iowans have had a chance to make their voice heard? Why would anyone even consider doing this? Why would you stifle Iowans’ voices? This utterly unprecedented move was a head-scratcher, even for Iowa’s longtime journalists.
On a recent episode of IPTV’s Iowa Press, Iowa reporters addressed the issue that House Democrat Leader Jennifer Konfrst was quick to endorse approving the maps the very day they dropped – literally in less than an hour. It’s here she admitted out loud that she planned to vote yes, without even seeing the maps.
Additionally, Konfrst even called for the approval of the second map, the day that the first map failed – or weeks before the new map was even released to the public.
Iowa Senate Republicans chose politics over fairness today. We must approve the nonpartisan map 2. https://t.co/NBk3Rpg4sD
— Rep. Jennifer Konfrst (@KonfrstForHouse) October 5, 2021
Every elected official in Iowa has praised our redistricting process as “the gold standard.” Our state constitution and Iowa Code explicitly prescribe This gold standard process, and it’s not hard to follow how it works:
First, the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency (LSA) staff draft potential redistricting maps with specific perimeters, However, there isn’t a magic formula that works every time and comes out the same way. Therefore, the LSA has leeway to develop the districts. Next, there are public hearings held, so Iowans have the chance to voice their opinions.
Then the Legislature must review the proposals, ensure they adhere to Iowa law and the parameters laid out in code. Their duty is to be the final arbiters of the maps, making sure no Iowa voter is disenfranchised, and the maps are fair and meet the requirements of the law. And making sure it’s legislators who are accountable to Iowans. If Iowans don’t like the maps, they can always vote out the people who approved them.
It has never been part of the “gold standard” process that unelected bureaucrats write the maps, and then we are compelled to accept them. Let alone agree to them without seeing them. In the history of our process, there have never been attempts by legislators to silence Iowans in the same way that Democrats have done the past month.
Either Legislative Democrats are completely abdicating their duty as elected officials, or they are playing politics, trying to score points with their base and make it look like some nefarious scheme is afoot.
It’s clearer than ever that Legislative Democrats are not fit to lead, and it’s a good thing they’re not in the majority. At every turn, they have advocated for handing their responsibilities over to justices and bureaucrats and being less accountable to Iowa voters.