Jeff Jackson Thinks That a Nonpartisan Map Is Good, Until the Chance for a Power Grab Comes Up | Eastern North Carolina Now

Publisher's note: This post, by Andy Jackson, was originally published in Civitas's online edition.

    It is human nature; we get want we want but then disregard it for the next shiny new thing. NC Sen. Jeff Jackson's (D-Mecklenburg) recent comments reveal that he is certainly not above human greed and corruption.

    During the redistricting process in 2016, the liberal advocacy group Common Cause teamed up with Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy to produce what they billed as a non-partisan map. Using a bipartisan panel of former judges drawing districts without reference to partisan data, they drew a map that was later estimated to have six Republican-leaning districts, four Democratic-leaning districts, and three toss-up districts. Tom Ross, a fellow at the Sanford School of Public Policy who started the project, patted the judges on the back:

  • "The panel did an outstanding job of following the clear criteria of achieving equal population, compactness and compliance with the Voting Rights Act, while leaving out partisan political consideration," Ross said.
  • "We believe this exercise shows how impartial redistricting can produce voting maps that are free from partisan gerrymandering and accurately reflect the population of North Carolina."

This congressional district map was drawn by former judges for Common Cause and was used as the starting point for one of the maps being considered in a joint redistricting committee.

    So we have a bipartisan map drawn without referencing partisan data drawn from a project sponsored by the plaintiff in a case that challenged the previous congressional maps in federal court. If you want to start the map-drawing process somewhere, that seems like a good place to do it. That is just what the a NC General Assembly joint committee on redistricting did, making it the basis for one the four maps they are drawing.

    However, that was not good enough for Sen. Jackson. With blood in the water, the left wants more he is no exception (The Insider, behind a paywall)

  • Sen. Jeff Jackson, D-Mecklenburg, said in a lengthy Facebook post Thursday that "it looks like we're headed towards another gerrymandered map," pointing to plans to use what's been called the "Common Cause map" as a base map - one drawn by a group of retired judges several years ago. The group Common Cause itself opposes use of the map, calling it "an academic exercise to demonstrate what a nonpartisan redistricting process could look like."

    On a certain level, it makes sense that Sen. Jackson and Common Cause would now disavow a map that Common Cause helped create three years ago. While the left has long talked a good game about fair maps, the end goal has always been about getting more power. Jackson's criticism of using the Common Cause map is both hypocritical and revealing.
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