Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sen. Kopp asks for a bipartisan and transparent process in redistricting

Wednesday Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp issued a letter to members of the bipartisan redistricting committee calling on them to make an honest and determined effort to reach an agreement on the boundaries of Colorado’s congressional districts.

The text of Senator Kopp’s letter is follows:

Open Letter to Members of the Joint Redistricting Committee

Dear Colleagues:

The bipartisan Joint Redistricting Committee was announced in December by President Shaffer and Speaker McNulty, who said the goal of the joint effort was “to take a new approach...that is focused on drawing fair boundary lines and avoiding the partisan squabbles that have marked this process in past years.” Furthermore, all four leaders in the House and Senate pledged their commitment to a “fair and transparent process.”

Unfortunately, both the fairness of the product and the transparency of the process are now in doubt because of the partisan maps offered by some members of the committee. Evidently, they prefer deadlock so the task will be given to the courts.

Admitting failure and giving this responsibility to unelected judges would be an abrogation of our constitutional duties. The citizens of Colorado expect more of us than that.

I call upon the members of the Committee to return to the original high purposes of the effort and make an honest and determined effort over the next 36 hours to reach a bipartisan agreement in open meetings with full public transparency, not behind closed doors. We owe it to the citizens who travelled countless miles to testify at regional hearings to finish the job in an open meeting. The Committee should simply put the maps up on the wall and draw new boundary lines in a fair and reasonable way, with all of Colorado watching and participating.

Colleagues, as elected members of the General Assembly, we owe it to citizens of Colorado to fulfill our constitutional duty and get this job done now.


Mike Kopp

Senate Minority Leader

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