facebook linkedin twitter

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Bipartisan Bid For Redistricting Commission

August 13, 2019 by Dan McCue

New Hampshire’s Republican governor, Chris Sununu vetoed a bipartisan bill Friday that would have created an independent redistricting commission to draw the state’s legislative and congressional district maps following the 2020 elections.

In a letter explaining his veto, Sununu said he believes issues related to partisan gerrymandering are “extremely rare” in New Hampshire, and that establishing a 15-member commission as called for by House Bill 706, would have created a body that is “unelected and unaccountable to the voters.”

“Legislators should not abrogate their responsibility to the voters and delegate authority to an unelected and unaccountable commission selected by the political party bosses,” Sununu said.

Had the governor signed the bill, it would have created a redistricting commission consisting of five Democrats, five Republicans and five citizens who have not claimed a party affiliation.

The bill prohibited individuals from serving if they’d been an elected official or lobbyist in the past 10 years, and those chosen for the panel would be picked by a pool of approved applicants submitted to the secretary of state.

The commission would convene after the completion of 2020 census to draw the new district maps.

Although the state’s elected officials would have no role in drawing the maps, they would ultimately vote to approve them or request fixes of errors.

Currently, New Hampshire’s legislature — a body now controlled by Democrats– is responsible for drawing up the state’s legislative district lines. The governor has the ability to veto or approve any maps.

State Rep. Marjorie Smith, a Democrat who worked with the nonpartisan Brennan Center to create the proposal, blasted Sununu on Friday, telling the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper the governor should be “ashamed” of himself.

“Only the House minority leader and Governor Sununu worked to keep their party’s best interest above the best interest of Granite Staters,” Smith told the newspaper. “Today the governor chose to ignore the bipartisan action of the Legislature and deny voters the right to choose whom they would like to vote for, and he should be ashamed of himself for doing so.”

Also calling Sununu out for his veto was former Attorney General Eric Holder, who now heads the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which has been promoting fair district lines and non-partisan commissions across the country.

“Governor Sununu’s refusal to sign the common sense, bipartisan bill that would have made the redistricting process more fair is completely unacceptable,” Holder said. “With a simple stroke of a pen, he could have joined with Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature who worked together on a bill to create a more representative democracy and put the interests of the people ahead of politicians.”

The former attorney general went on to say that only reasonable conclusion to draw from the veto is that Sununu “wants to perpetuate a system where politicians pick their voters and citizens do not get to choose their representatives.”

The governor, Holder said, is “a captive of the special interests who fear the will of the people.”

“The people of New Hampshire deserve a transparent, independent redistricting commission designed to redraw the electoral maps fairly – not favoring either party. … [in vetoing the bill], Governor Sununu has shown that he’s out of step and unable to look past narrow political interests,” Holder added.

In The News

Health

Voting

State News

April 22, 2021
by TWN Staff
New Caucus Aims to Bring Main Street Priorities to Capitol Hill

Eighteen members of Congress on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Congressional Caucus whose intent is to ensure that... Read More

Eighteen members of Congress on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Congressional Caucus whose intent is to ensure that the priorities and concerns of cities and counties across America are heard on Capitol Hill. The bipartisan Congressional Caucus of Former Local Elected Officials was formed... Read More

April 16, 2021
by TWN Staff
35 States at Extreme Risk of Partisan Gerrymandering

Thirty-five states are at extreme or high risk of partisan gerrymandering, according to an in-depth report by the nonpartisan RepresentUs... Read More

Thirty-five states are at extreme or high risk of partisan gerrymandering, according to an in-depth report by the nonpartisan RepresentUs organization. The Gerrymandering Threat Index rates all 50 states, and its authors argue their findings underscore the urgent need to pass the redistricting reforms within the... Read More

Plan Afoot to Extend PPP Deadline to May 31

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 is gaining support in the House... Read More

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 is gaining support in the House and the Senate and will likely be voted on before lawmakers head back to their districts at the end of the month. The proposal to extend... Read More

March 2, 2021
by TWN Staff
Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Date Announced

WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the... Read More

WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin in Washington is currently expected to occur April 2-5.  That means the most vivid of blooms... Read More

Once the Mainstream Model, Michigan GOP Embraces Right Wing

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary... Read More

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, can trace the arc of the state's Republican Party clearly."This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George... Read More

What NY Prosecutors Could Learn from Trump's Tax Records

NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump's tax records.Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top