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Eye On Boise

Fri., Oct. 7, 2011, 11:45 a.m.

Crow to Beck: ‘Next time you do this job’

Former state Sen. Rod Beck told the Idaho redistricting commission today that he never was in the Legislature during redistricting, but said, "I was one of those people in Ada County that was getting jerked around." He said as a young Boisean, he looked up who his senator was, and it was someone from Grand View. "That sort of thing breeds cynicism," he said. He praised commission Co-Chairman Ron Beitelspacher for his comments last night in Coeur d'Alene about serving the people, even if it makes all the political folks mad. "I commend you for that position, and I hope you maintain that position throughout the ... process," Beck said. Unreasonable district lines occur "because of politics," he said. "Draw some legislative districts for the people of Idaho that's easily understood and that's easily articulated." He said the previous commission did a good job on Ada County lines, because "it's a clear, distinct line, people can understand where they live."

When Beck offered a few jabs about the redistricting process, Co-Chair Dolores Crow bristled. "You know I have a really good idea," she told him, "next time you put your hand up to do this job."

Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell, urged the redistricting commission to consider communities of interest - and not where current lawmakers like him live. "You have to look at population," he said. Bolz said if he ends up in a district where, should he choose to run again, he'd have to face another incumbent, "So be it."

Ray Stark of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce encouraged the commission to draw nine complete legislative districts within Ada County. "We think it can be done because of the numbers," he said. "We don't know if it can be done in 2021, but right now the numbers work out in 2011 for nine districts in Ada County." He noted that the compromise plan reached by the last redistricting commission, L-83, did that; he said the chamber has no recommendation on where the lines go within Ada County, but wants the full nine districts. Crow told Stark, "We'll take a good look at that."

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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