Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting in Texas and the Downfall of Tom Delay

By Steve Bickerstaff | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12
Redistricting by Cabal:
The Final Redistricting Plan

Well, it seems to me that this map doesn't look anything like the map we voted out
of this chamber.

— SENATOR JUAN HINOJOSA, OCTOBER 10, 2003

With a redistricting bill now through both the Senate and the House, Democrats had little or nothing that they could do to determine the specifics of the final plan. The district lines in the redistricting plans were entirely mutable, like lines drawn in the sand. The configuration of the final plan would rest with the conference committee, the leaders of the House and Senate, and the governor, subject to partisan pressures from Washington and outside of the Texas legislature. As a result, the final redistricting plan was developed in secret by a small group of like-minded persons committed to maximizing Republican voting strength in 2004 and the future. Looming over the drawing up of the final map was the partisan aggressiveness of Congressman DeLay, the Republican congressional delegation, and other outside forces that ultimately influenced the shape of the final map.
Disputes Between Senate and the House Republicans:
Congressional Districts in West Texas
Several points of contention existed between the House and Senate plans:
There were conflicts over Central Texas, where civic leaders from Waco, McLennan County, Bell County, and Killeen protested the splitting of their area by the House map. The Senate plan tried to address this issue by keeping Waco and Fort Hood in one district.

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