Since I posted contents of the Manchester redistricting law suit here Monday, two more redistricting law suits have been filed (as reported by Mathew Spolar in the Concord Monitor), one by the city of Concord, one by a group of Democratic lawmakers and activists. Since details of those are available in the main stream media, I won't go into details here except to note how strange it is (according to Spolar) that one of the petitioners in this latest suit is my own fellow Manchester Ward 8 Representative Tom Katsiantonis who has been absent for three out of four votes on the House floor this year--he's missed 81 of 105 votes--77 percent--on the HRA scoresheet, a good proxy for attendance (Spolar doesn't mention that--but that's fodder for another blog).
Katsiantonis can't do the job he was elected to do, but he's ready to sue!
You just can't make this stuff up!
However, I do know that at least one more redistricting law suit is in the works. It's from a group of Republican law makers, one which I have signed on to as a co-litigant.
Whether the number will stop at four or increase beyond that is unknown, but as predicted here months ago, we're heading for a mess, one which could have been prevented had Speaker O'Brien accepted the compromise plan, one authored by Republican Seth Cohn and co-sponsored by such Republicans as former Manchester Chair Will Infantine and Nashua Republican Dee Hogan and agreed to by Democrats (a similar amendment was offered by Democrat Weber). This plan had actually passed the House when O'Brien called a Republican caucus and bullied his members into reconsideration thus leading to the plan which is under assault today.
Again, you just can't make this stuff up! (And Sean Hannity seems to be stealing my favorite line--or am I stealing his line?).
Some people have asked me if the court will consolidate all the law suits into one. Of course, I am not a lawyer but I suspect that the court will do its best to accommodate everyone in as expeditious and timely a manner possible. As I've said all along, the court has no interest in creating its own plan, just in guaranteeing that the final plan meets the letter and spirit of the law, which the House-passed plan clearly does not do. If the courts strike down plans in specific areas, I suspect plans for other counties might be allowed to stand although I offer the caveat that at this point, your guess is as good as mine.
The real tragedy, I would like to say, is that hubris of one man, William O'Brien, has gotten us into this predicament. However, that's not really true. O'Brien could not have done this alone. Had Redistricting Chair Paul Mirski, R-Enfield, not capitulated to what he knew (deep down inside) was wrong, O'Brien could never have gotten away with this.
Never forget that it was Mirski (and O'Brien) who were behind the 2006 Constitutional Amendment which they flaunt with such relish today. (Not to mention, a little mustard on the side).
Also never forget that O'Brien, supposedly a fiscal conservative, has already blown through $50,000 of taxpayer money getting bad outside legal advise. Won't it be fun if he has to go to the Fiscal Committee on bended knee begging for more money to throw at a problem he created. Yahwah help us if the House's third rate legal counsel/lobbyist/gendarme Ed Mosca is left to handle the suits.
Who was it that wrote, "Oh what a terrible tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive"?
We are in a terrible tangled web woven by O'Brien and company today, but very few Republicans do not share the blame. Every Republican who stood by this awful plan must play the role of Lady Macbeth today, "Out, out damn spot."