Republican Congressman Richard Baker sat in his Cannon Building office one recent afternoon, taking one call after another from fellow Louisiana lawmakers. Back home, the legislature was redrawing congressional districts and nobody, it seemed, was safe.

"Oh my Lord," he said in bewilderment as he heard the latest rumor from Rep. Jimmy Hayes, a Democrat. The rumor - that the legislature would wait until July to act - proved false, but Rep. Baker's concern was well founded.

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