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House redistricting chair Sarah Anderson rips citizens’ plan for new boundaries

Rep.

Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, is not impressed with the map-drawing of the Citizens’ Redistricting Commission.

Among other things, Anderson, who headed the House redistricting committee, says the nonpartisan commission was filled with liberal activists.

“It should be cause for great concern that Draw the Line is bringing politics into a process which should be about people,” Anderson said in a statement today. “Their process has been run by David Wheeler, who was endorsed for public office by several Democrats including Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and State Senator Scott Dibble, and their map was drawn by Linden Weiswerda, a former Obama for America staffer. This flies in the face of any sort of commission involvement and ultimately decisions were made by liberal staff members, not citizens or commission members.”

It should be noted that the map proposed by Anderson was shot down immediately by House DFLers. There was no support among DFLers for the Republican legislative map in the Senate, either.

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Given no DFL support, Gov. Mark Dayton promptly vetoed the effort.

Anderson criticized the commission’s process, which she called “a shroud of secrecy.”

The 15 commissioners, however, represented a cross section of Minnesota, politically and geographically, according to commission members.

As for secrecy, the commission noted input received from citizens across the state in 18 public hearings.

Anderson, however, apparently is not impressed. She even attacks what the commission considers a point of pride, the bringing together of several tribes in creating a House district that would improve opportunities for an American Indian to win a House seat.

“As best we can tell,” Anderson said, “Draw the Line [the commission] has ripped apart at least three tribal communities and is carving up almost four times the number of cities they are reporting.  Draw the Line’s top principle was to preserve communities of interest, yet they completely disregard city and county boundaries, ignored the Voting Rights Act altogether and disenfranchise thousands of Minnesotans of their equal representation rights.”

The commission presented its effort to the judicial panel today, hoping it will serve as a benchmark for the five-judge panel that almost certainly will be left with the task of creating the map that will guide Minnesota politics for the next 10 years.