Response to Mosca Op-Ed Piece on Redistricting

Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, Hills 15

I disagree with your charge against John Lynch, namely that he won't accept a fair redistricting plan. I'd be willing to bet that he'll sign the reasonable plan the new House and Senate send him.  No matter what I might think of John Lynch overall, I'd hardly call him "viscerally partisan". The problem ten years ago was not really Jeanne Shaheen, IT WAS ONE PETER BURLING who managed to do something unreasonable.  Redistricting is not a major problm.  The main contention ten years ago was over two districts in the smallest counties in the state:  what to do with Northumberland in Coos, and what to do in Sullivan where the feud between Burling and Bev Rodeschin led to a heated controversy.  The other thing was that some wanted 400 single member districts, not constitutionally feasible since only towns and cities can split themselves up into units which would be 400 single districts.  That's never gonna happen.

Having orchestrated the House plan veto, Burling had set in motion the veto for the Senate plan which seemed perfectly acceptable to was Burling playing politics.

You say the Supreme Court "took it upon itself" which isn't exactly the way I'd phrase it.  Instead, I'd say the Supreme Court was forced to step in to fill a void...there was no plan which had passed both Houses and been signed by the Governor.  Since the legislature has traditionally done its redistricing in the form of a law, the Governor's signature has always been required.  I don't buy the argument that the governor should not be able to exercise veto power...practice and tradition is that the governor has signed the redistricing bills.  To malign the court for stepping in is not helpful.  Of course, one can easily malign the plan its high priced numbers cruncher came up with.  Just as a prime example, the way Manchester was split up was absurb!  And I'd contend that the Court actually broke the Constitution with its Senate plan by creating districts (expecially the Nashua area) which defied the one man, one vote principle.  Of course, who's going to say the Surpeme Court acted unconstitutionally?

For sure, a knowledge of history is a good thing.  But we must remember correctly; I thnik you fail to do so.  Blame BURLING for the fiasco ten years ago and without such a bull-headed partisan, I don't expect we'll have similar problems this cycle.

From: Ed Mosca []
Sent: Thu 10/14/2010 3:05 PM
To: Ed Mosca




            Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, so let’s think back to 2001.  Then Governor Jeanne Shaheen vetoed the Legislature’s plan to reapportion the House and Senate, and the State Supreme Court then took it upon itself to redistrict the State. 

            The result was a judicial gerrymander for the ages.  Quoting from the far-left “Blue Hampshire” website: “Ten Senate districts lean Democratic, led by three overwhelmingly Democratic districts: District 5 (Hanover and Lebanon area), District 10 (Keene area), and District 21 (Dover and Durham area). Six districts lean Republican, though none are as heavily partisan as the three Democratic districts.”  And that is even after subsequent legislation that watered down the judicial gerrymander in nine of the 24 senate districts!

            The State Constitution directs the Legislature to reapportion the House and the Senate at its regular session following the federal decennial census.  So the Legislature elected this fall will be in charge of redistricting.  If the national polls are any harbinger, the voters in New Hampshire will turn out most of the horde of hard-left progressives that rode into office in 2006 based on widespread disillusionment with the Iraq war.  But having a reasonable Legislature will be meaningless as far as redistricting goes, if we don’t also have a reasonable Governor.

            You can bet your bottom dollar that the viscerally partisan John Lynch will veto whatever redistricting plan a Republican Legislature comes up with in order to allow the State Supreme Court to again write an electoral map that favors the Democrat Party.  And that will be even more of a disaster than ten years ago because, thanks to Lynch, the Supreme Court is an even more liberal, activist court.

            The only way to protect our right to cast a meaningful vote is to elect John Stephen.

Edward C. Mosca
Mosca Law Office
27 Webster Street, 2nd Floor
Manchester, NH 03104