Scott Tibbs
Submitted to the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette
January 15th, 2005

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Take the politics out of drawing legislative districts

To the Editor:

I agree with the J-G editorial supporting an independent commission to draw legislative districts. Voters and the political process would gain from districts drawn based on population and natural boundaries rather than partisan politics. I applaud Speaker Bosma for introducing this proposal.

Indiana's Fourth Congressional District snakes around the west side of Indianapolis to pack as many Republicans into one district as possible. It stretches from Lafayette to Lawrence County, putting Bedford in the same district as Purdue, but not as Indiana University. This makes no sense and would not happen if politicians did not draw districts.

While a reform proposal failed in California last year, I think that had more to do with Gov. Schwarzenegger's lack of popularity than with the merits of the proposal. The Indiana legislature should not interpret last year's election as a popular mandate against non-partisan redistricting.

I believe the proposal should be modified to have each of Indiana's 50 Senate districts include two of our 100 House districts. Obviously, the Senate map would have to be drawn first. I encourage people to e-mail your legislators about non-partisan redistricting. If you know what district you are in, simply type H or S and the district number followed by For example, the e-mails for the tenth district in the House and Senate are and respectively.

Scott Tibbs