For Immediate Release
Following today's 8-7 vote, Republicans serving on the Congressional Reapportionment Commission noted the process is far from over.
"The endorsement of the Democratic plan is the recommendation of the commission. The vote that counts will be the one taken by the Maine House of Representatives and Senate during the special legislative session which is scheduled for September 27, 2011," said Representative Ken Fredette, who serves on the commission. "I would rather the legislature, not the courts, resolve this," he said.
Republicans continue to believe their original map, which draws a north/south line between the two congressional districts, comes the closest to meeting the criteria established by the federal court. That map creates two compact districts that are evenly divided and, more than any other proposal, removes politics from the final equation.
Senator Debra Plowman, who also serves on the commission, said "Our initial plan, our 'Western Maine' plan, makes the most sense. Maine's Members of Congress should both be looking out for what is best for the entire State of Maine. We are too small a State for our Members of Congress to either be thinking or acting parochially on behalf of one Maine Congressional District at the expense of another. The Republican redistricting plan reinforces that concept," she said.
The Democratic proposal has no chance of achieving a majority vote in either legislative chamber.
Today's vote only marks one step of a process that Republicans continue to hope will be bipartisan.
"Senator Seth Goodall and I, as friends and colleagues, have agreed to meet again in a couple of days. We will start with points of agreement and work towards a Congressional redistricting plan that makes sense for all of Maine, not two Maines, and not for one part of Maine at the expense of another," Senator Plowman said.
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