Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

September 4, 2013

House Democrats share bi-partisanship


Sept. 4, 2013 — Last month we praised Senate Republican leaders in the Kentucky General Assembly for their redistricting plan which reflected true bi-partisanship, a rarity in politics today.

Today, in the spirit of fairness, we extend an equally hearty “well done” to the House Democratic leaders whose reapportionment map was a model of bi-partisanship with a different look.

Whereas the Senate plan did not require any incumbents to oppose each other, the House map bunched eight of them together in four separate districts – two pairs of Democrats and two pairs of Republicans.

Hence, the party in power did not take advantage of the minority.

Some of those paired Democrats make not like it but neither they nor the paired Republicans can say it was not done in an evenhanded manner.

We also appreciated the refreshing candor of House Speaker Greg Stumbo who admitted that he most likely is the most partisan legislator among the 138 senators and representatives.

But, to his credit, Stumbo’s partisanship was not shown in a realignment that even matched members of the Mountain Caucus against each other.

We believe that pitting House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins against fellow incumbent Rep. Kevin Sinnette was not an easy decision.

Likewise for matching Rep. John Will Stacy, a former member of House leadership, against Rep. Hubert Collins of Johnson County, chair of the House Transportation Committee.

Carter County benefited twice with Sen. Robin Webb and Rep. Jill York each remaining in logical district alignments.

Some counties with substantial population growth are whining about being split into five or six House districts but, on balance, we believe that could work to their advantage.

If you’re a county judge-executive, having five or six representatives shouldn’t be a hardship when you go to Frankfort for help.

Hopefully, the folks who filed federal lawsuits protesting earlier redistricting plans will back off and the three federal judges hearing those cases will let the new maps become effective immediately.

Then, for the first time in many years, we believe the principle of “one person, one vote” will be in place during the 2014 legislative elections and beyond.

Kentucky’s demographics are constantly changing with rural areas most losing population and urban and suburban areas gaining in response to economic and other circumstances.

And, for those diehards who still aren’t satisfied with how state legislative districts are composed, we hasten to note that the next federal census is only about six years away – in 2020.

Then we get to go through this tedious process all over again.