September 10, 2021
September 10, 2021
Lansing, Mich., September 10, 2021 – Earlier this week, it was revealed that a second ‘Independent’ commissioner on Michigan’s Redistricting committee is in fact a progressive Democrat. This news comes about a week after it was discovered that another ‘Independent’ redistricting commissioner, Anthony Eid, is a radical leftist. With these revelations over the past two weeks, Michigan residents aren’t getting the entire picture. The Detroit News reports:
“Two recent reports from the Washington Free Beacon undermine the nonpartisan aims of the commission, and Michigan citizens deserve a full accounting. This group has the power to fundamentally change the political makeup of the state for years to come in redrawing congressional and legislative district lines.”… “Transparency is key.”
The commission has not veiled its partisan leanings either. About a month ago, the commission invited Anthony Eid’s fellow Bernie Bro Matthew Petering to present a mapmaking algorithm before the committee. Without explanation, the same courtesy was not afforded to former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Markham. The Detroit News continued:
“Yet it has refused to grant an equal opportunity to former state Supreme Court justice Stephen Markman, who has sought for months to address the commission over his concerns with its definition of community in forming district lines.”
Despite the campaign promises of independence, the short-sighted nature of the constitutional amendment has made it easy for the commissioners to avoid accountability. Michigan is one of 19 states in which voters do not register by party, and due to the redistricting commission failing to perform any vetting during the selection stage, commissioners were able to conceal a political affiliation. After this latest revelation, many are concerned that gerrymandering could be a bigger issue now than ever.
“The people of Michigan voted for the elimination of partisanship from the redistricting process,” said Eric Ventimiglia, Executive Director for Michigan Rising Action. Ventimiglia continued, “Instead, we are seeing a process shrouded in secrecy. Commissioners have lied about their partisan affiliation, meeting agendas aren’t posted until after the meeting starts, and it is difficult for people to participate. This is not the transparent process that Michigan was promised.