Leaders of both political parties in the Missouri House are demanding some explanations from the judges who secretly drew new House and Senate districts.
The six appeals court judges who have decided what legislative district we live in drew their lines behind closed doors and have refused to explain why they made the decisions they made. The new lines are particularly unkind to the House where 23 districts are drawn to include two incumbents and three more include residences of three incumbents.
House majority leader Tim Jones and minority leader Mike Talboy have are using the state open records law to demand all paperwork of all kinds used by the judges in drawing the lines. Jones wants explanations about why, he says, some towns are divided by district lines, some counties are split, and natural geographic boundaries and communities of interests have been ignored. “It’s not just a bunch of incumbent politicians that are complaining,” he says.
Jones says there is no legitimate reason to keep hiding the redistricting commission’s records showing how the lines were determined.
A lawyer for the commission says it’s not under the state’s open meetings and open records law. Jones and Talboy disagree and say the commission made mistakes because it did not allow people experienced in the political process to take part.