Republican Redistricting Plan Targets CU Friend

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The Republican-controlled legislature finally approved a highly controversial redistricting plan that targets as many as eight of the state's 15 Democratic U.S. House members for defeat, including long-time credit union advocate Martin Frost. Frost, former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Committee, has long been an antagonist of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, who helped draft the redistricting map. Frost has long been a credit union supporter and introduced an alternative to HR 1151, before signing on to the landmark field of membership legislation.

The new map, sure to be challenged in court by Democrats, also targets incumbent Democrats Chet Edwards and Charles Stenholm, both also credit union supporters.

A credit union official emphasized that credit unions tried to stay clear of the highly-charged redistricting controversy, which was highlighted by both Senate and House Democrats leaving the state in an unsuccessful effort to halt a vote on the new map. "We have friends on both sides of the aisle," the official said. The new map would carefully reconfigure the congressional map, now controlled 17-15 by Democrats, to give Republicans as many as 22 seats.

Democrats are expected to challenge the new map, drawn just two years after the then-Democratic-controlled legislature approved a redistricting scheme, in court based on the fact that it is carefully gerrymandered to pack minority voters into certain districts.

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