Eye On Boise

Redistricters cite progress, wrap up for now

Idaho Redistricting Commission GOP Co-Chairman Evan Frasure, standing, sets up a large map showing where Republican commissioners have concerns about legislative districts that lack road connections, during a meeting on Wednesday. (Betsy Russell)
Idaho Redistricting Commission GOP Co-Chairman Evan Frasure, standing, sets up a large map showing where Republican commissioners have concerns about legislative districts that lack road connections, during a meeting on Wednesday. (Betsy Russell)

Idaho's redistricting commission spent some time trading ideas on two sticking points in legislative district maps - District 2 in North Idaho and District 31 in southeast Idaho - before breaking up in good spirits this afternoon. GOP commissioners offered critiques of how the latest Democratic plan, L-46, draws those two districts. "For us attempting to draw lines based on your format is ... a huge concession, in all candor," GOP Co-Chairman Evan Frasure said. "We're not backing off our legal position," he said, in the tiff between the two sides over constitutional vs. statutory requirements, and preserving counties vs. making sure districts have connecting roads. "That still is our official position." But, he said, "In the spirit of compromise, I didn't come over here to fail. In all sincerity, I am putting on a brand new set of glasses."

GOP Commissioner Lou Esposito said he also has problems with the Democratic plan's District 18, which pairs downtown Boise with Eagle. "I think there'll be some work done on the Ada County map to help fix that," Esposito said. Democratic Co-Chairman Allen Andersen said, "We are looking at that to try to fix that."  And Democratic Commissioner Julie Kane noted that she and GOP Commissioner Lorna Finman have been exchanging maps with different ideas to improve the lines for District 2. "I think we're coming closer to each other's positions on it," she said. The commission has now adjourned until 10 a.m. on Tuesday Aug. 30; commissioners left with high hopes that they'll wrap it up well before Sept. 6. Frasure told his fellow commissioners, "I really don't want to see your smiling faces on Labor Day."




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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