Eye On Boise

FRIDAY, SEPT. 2, 2011, 10:37 A.M.

GOP submits new legislative district plan with zero deviation

GOP Commissioner Lorna Finman has now moved to introduce another proposed legislative district plan, this one drawn by GOP Commissioner Evan Frasure. Frasure said the new GOP map takes a bit of a different approach. "This one is a zero deviation - all 35 districts are within one person of being exact,  within the one-person, one-vote concept," he said. That concept, from the U.S. Constitution, outweighs all other considerations in redistricting, he said, including keeping counties intact and having connecting roads within districts. Finman noted that the map would keep all of Clark Fork together in District 1. "We've had a lot of testimony to keep Clark Fork intact, and not keep splitting it," she said.

Frasure said the new GOP proposal keeps the Coeur d'Alene and Nez Perce reservations each within a single district, "keeping that community together rather than splitting it in half." This map creates a new District 1 that takes in just Boundary and part of Bonner counties; has districts 2, 3, and 4 in Kootenai County; and combines Shoshone, Benewah, most of Latah and part of Kootenai counties into a new District 5. It creates a new District 8 in Idaho, Adams, Washington and Payette counties that's similar to one created in one of the Democratic plans newly introduced today. The new GOP plan is L-65; it splits 15 counties. It does split precincts to reach the zero deviation, which would require a five-of-six-vote majority to approve it. Said Frasure, "It's certainly defensible, where it has zero deviation - it certainly honors the one-man, one-vote concept."

Commissioners will look over the plan this afternoon; they're now taking a break until 3 p.m. "We could have a rather interesting afternoon," Frasure said, with five new Democratic plans already up for review. "We'll have one more plan to show you this afternoon," he added. Democratic Commissioner Allen Andersen said, "We might be able to finish this this afternoon." Democratic Commissioner George Moses said of the five plans the Dems introduced, "You pick one of the five, you move it, we'll second it, and we'll vote for it." He added, "If we get this legislative map done this afternoon, we could have the congressional map done before we leave."

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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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