Pingree, Michaud weigh in on redistricting

9:56 AM, Aug 18, 2011   |    comments
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(NEWS CENTER) -- Maine's congressional representatives are highly critical of the Republican plan to redraw their districts.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Congressman Mike Michaud, both Democrats, spoke out about the plan Wednesday. The Maine Supreme Court has ruled that the districts must be redrawn before this year.
And each party proposed its idea on Monday.

The Democrats' plan would not change much. It would move the town of Vassalboro from the First District to the Second District, displacing about 4,000 people.

The Republican plan essentially moves all of Oxford and part of Franklin counties in Western Maine to the First District. It would also move Androscoggin County, including Democratic stronghold Lewiston, into the First District. It would then move Knox, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc Counties into the Second District.
That's more than 360,000 people affected.

Congresswoman Pingree's home town of North Haven is in Knox County. Her home would be moved into the Second District. Under the Republican plan, the Second District also would have more registered Republican voters than it does right now.
Speaking after an event at the Portland Farmers Market, Pingree said it looks to her like the Republicans are trying to use this process to make it easier for them to take the second district.
Pingree said, "Let's not pretend that there's anything fair or reasonable about this. This si the Republicans trying to take a partisan advantage, upend 360-thousand people in Maine from the district they're used to being in for basic gerrymandering and breaking the rules."

Congressman Mike Michaud, meanwhile, seemed to laugh off the Republican plan. He's served on the redistricting panel before and says he doesn't think it should take very long for Republicans and Democrats to agree as long as they don't play political games.
Michaud said, "It's more of them trying to be cute and come up wtih a plan that puts us both together. But people in the state of Maine are tired of partisan politics and I think it's going to backfire on them."
The legislature is expected to vote on a redistricting plan on September 27. If no plan gets two-thirds of the body, the Supreme Court will decide where the line should be drawn.


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