Repubs show first draft of reapportionment

"NORMAN — A redistricting plan being pushed through the legislature moves former state Rep. Wallace Collins’ residence from the District 45 area he formerly represented and puts it in House District 44, a review of the maps shows." - The Norman Transcript, May 7, 2011

We see a glimpse into the plan formulated by the Republican majority in the state legislature. It is politics as usual. They will say it isn't, but in this particular instance it is pure politics.

House District 45 is one of the last remaining competitive districts in the state. Wallace Collins represented the district for a few terms back in the 90s. He was then defeated by a Republican (I believe that was Thad Balkman) who survived a reelection or two.

In 2005 or so some progressives in House Distrit 45 pulled out all the stops to educated the voters on what kind of representative they felt Thad Balkman was. They passed out flyers that accused him of racism,sexism and homophobia. They softened his support to where Wallace Collins was able to defeat him in the 2006 election. Wallace was reelected in 2008 but was then defeated in the Republican sweep in Oklahoma in 2010.

This kind of move across parties doesn't happen much anymore. After decades of Democrats and Republicans resetting the districts every 10 years to protect incumbents.

The plan calls for moving Precinct 2 where Wallace votes as well as Precinct 15 where I and my street full of Democrats vote into District 44, a district that is already solid Democratic. I look forward to being represented by Emily Virgin, the Democrat that won after Democrat Bill Nations retired even though Democrats could hardly win that year.

However, gerrymandering is bad policy. It is commonplace now, but it is destroying our country. It may be the #1 reason why our legislative bodies have become so polarized and uncivil.

Oklahoma needs a bipartisan body to write the first draft of these reapportionment plans every 10 years.