HOYER: TEXAS IS LATEST EXAMPLE OF GOP RIGHT-WING POLITICAL POWER GRAB

For Immediate Release:

October 16, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) today released the following statement requesting that the Department of Justice apply a fair and non-partisan evaluation of the new Republican-drawn Texas redistricting map: 

 “I join my Democratic House colleagues today in condemning this arrogant attack on our constitutional and federal election processes.  Republicans have become increasingly drunk with power, demonstrating little regard for the rights of the minority party in Congress, which happens to represent nearly half of the country, and resorting to any available means to expand their political power.  The Texas redistricting saga is an egregious example of what has been happening around the country and in Congress.

 “Each development in Texas has been more unbelievable than the last, thanks to the strong-arm tactics of Majority Leader DeLay.  First Mr. DeLay tossed aside the map that was legally in place in an unprecedented move to write his own – with the sole selfish goal to increase the number of Republicans in Congress and with no regard for minority rights or what was good for the state of Texas.

“In a move reminiscent of a police state, Mr. DeLay wrongly used federal agencies and taxpayer money to chase down Democratic lawmakers who refused to present a quorum in the Texas State House.  Then, Republican leaders childishly punished Democratic State Senators and their staff by imposing thousands of dollars in fines, taking away parking passes and other privileges. 

“While Texas taxpayers labour under a $10 billion deficit, Mr. DeLay and Texas Republicans called special sessions that cost the state tens of millions of dollars. While Mr. DeLay declares Texas a Republican state, Texans haven’t agreed with him at the ballot box.  They support the common-sense Democrat they just elected and who spend their time working for Texas not playing politics.

 “The Justice Department should take a good, thorough look at this illegal plan, and then toss it – because Texans should decide who represents their interests in Congress, not Mr. DeLay.”

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